Child abuse is a complex problem which has multiple causes.Understanding the causes of abuse is crucial to addressing the problem of child abuse.Parents who physically abuse their spouses are more likely to physically abuse their children. However, it is difficult to know whether marital strife is a cause of child abuse, or if both the marital strife and abuse are caused by tendencies in the abuser.
If beatings send a message, why don't detentions, imprisonments, fines, and a multitude of other punishments convey equally undesirable messages? there is all the difference in the world between legitimate authorities -- the judiciary, parents, or teachers -- using punitive powers responsibly to punish wrongdoing, and children or private citizens going around beating each other, locking each other up, and extracting financial tributes (such as lunch money). There is a vast moral difference here and there is no reason why children should not learn about it. Punishing children when they do wrong seems to be one important way of doing this."
Children who are physically abused are likely to receive bone fractures, particularly rib fractures, and may have a higher risk of developing cancer.