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Dr. Joan Durrant

Associate Professor, Department of Family Social Sciences

Dr. Joan Durrant is a Child-Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Family Social Sciences in the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba.  Dr. Durrant’s research focuses on the psychological, cultural, legal and human rights dimensions of corporal punishment of children in Canada and worldwide. She was the principal researcher and co-author of the Canadian Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth and co-editor of Eliminating Corporal Punishment: The Way Forward to Constructive Discipline(UNESCO). Dr. Durrant’s activities include membership in the Research Advisory Group to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children, the Research Advisory Group to the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Research Committee of the Centre of Excellence on Early Childhood Development.  Active in public education, Dr. Durrant wrote the What’s Wrong with Spanking? brochure published by the Public Health Agency of Canada.  She co-wrote the Feelings booklet for the Nobody’s Perfect program, a national parenting program for parents at-risk of violence, and the public education brochure, Spanking: Should I or Shouldn’t I? She also has written a book on positive discipline published by Save the Children Sweden.


In her research, Dr. Durrant has focused on preventing physical maltreatment of children.  She has a particular interest in uncovering the factors that lead parents to strike their children as punishment.  Her research has taken her to Sweden, where she has studied the history and implementation of the world's first ban on physical punishment, as well as Swedish parents' approaches to child discipline.  She also has carried out studies of attitudes toward physical punishment and its abolition in Canada, Sweden and Germany. Currently, she is involved in a qualitative study of the meaning of discipline from the parent's point of view. This is a collaborative project with Dr. Christine Ateah and Dr. Marie Edwards of the Faculty of Nursing. The findings will help them to develop resources and supports that better meet parents' needs.

Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba
313C Human Ecology Building
R3T 2N2
(204) 474-8060
(204) 474-7592

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