Background: Over 500 cases of school-based corporal punishment (CP) are reported annually in Japan. A major feature of CP in Japanese schools is its high prevalence during extracurricular sports activities. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of having suffered a CP-related injury on victims’ later use of CP in an athletics environment. Participants and setting: Participants were 704 undergraduate students of a sports instructor training course who were recruited as volunteers during classes. Methods: A questionnaire on past experiences of CP and later perpetration of CP was administered to the participants. It was found that 31.3% of the students had experienced CP and 2.3% had perpetrated CP on others. We conducted logistic regression analyses with CP as an objective dependent variable and gender, grade and past CP experience (elementary, junior high school, or high school) as explanatory variables. Results: The results of the analysis revealed that having experienced CP had a significant relationship with the victims’ perpetration of CP. Elementary school was the only life stage for which there was a significant correlation between having been a victim of CP and practicing it in the future. Conclusions: Many studies have explored the use of CP in families, while others have demonstrated that physical education students who received CP themselves are more likely to find CP an acceptable method of maintaining discipline. This is the first study that investigates whether students who experienced CP show a higher prevalence of CP perpetration. The findings indicate that experiencing CP in childhood is a risk factor for future use of CP. Proper care is required for children who have experienced CP at a young age.
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