A Policy Analysis of No Hit Zones: What are barriers to No Hit Zone implementation?

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No Hit Zones (NHZs) represent a new policy to prevent corporal punishment and to ensure healthy environments for children and their families. NHZs designate spaces where no hitting of any kind is tolerated and serve as an intervention to shift cultural norms away from physical discipline, starting at the institution-wide level. This mixed-methods thesis is divided into two studies that address the substantial research gap in this nascent field. Study 1 provides an overview of the approximately 50 NHZs nationwide and answers the research question, “What are the barriers to No Hit Zone implementation in institutions, such as hospitals and District Attorney’s offices?” Through the analysis of qualitative data from 44 interviews with professionals involved in NHZ implementation, this thesis establishes a comprehensive list of NHZs and their distribution across states and institution types. Study 1 identifies four central barriers to NHZ implementation: social norms surrounding corporal punishment, framing of the NHZ policy, resource issues, and lack of data surrounding training initiatives. Based on Study 1’s identification of the training barrier, Study 2 analyzes quantitative data from surveys administered before and after NHZ training at Children’s Hospital New Orleans and provides preliminary evidence that training programs can impact healthcare professionals’ views about the use of corporal punishment and increase their perceived ability to intervene when they witness hitting.





Mastrangelo, Madison (2018). A Policy Analysis of No Hit Zones: What are barriers to No Hit Zone implementation?. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17826.

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