Joan Durrant

Associate Professor, Social Sciences

Address: 313C Human Ecology Building, University of Manitoba
  Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Phone: 204.474.8060
Fax: 204.474.7592

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.

Ph.D., University of Windsor, 1988; M.A., University of Windsor;  B. A., University of Windsor.

Areas of Specialization:
Teaching: Developmental health; risk and resiliency in child development; children and violence.

Research: 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. 

Recent Publications:
Durrant, J.E. (2008, in press). Physical punishment, culture and rights: Current issues for professionals. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Durrant, J.E., Sigvaldason, N., & Bednar, L. (2008, in press). What did the Canadian public learn from the Supreme Court decision on physical punishment? International Journal of Children’s Rights.

Gonzalez, M., Durrant, J.E., Trocmé, N., Brown, J., & Chabot, M. (2008, accepted).  What predicts injury from physical punishment?  A test of the typologies of violence hypothesis. Child Abuse & Neglect.

Durrant, J.E. (2007). Corporal punishment: A violation of the rights of the child. In R. B. Howe & K. Covell (Eds.), Children’s rights in Canada: A question of commitment (pp. 99-125). Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press.

Durrant, J.E. (2007). Positive discipline: What it is and how to do it. Bangkok: Save the Children Sweden, Southeast Asia Pacific Region.

Durrant, J. E. (2006). From mopping up the damage to preventing the flood: The role of social policy in the prevention of violence against children. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 27, 1-17.

McGillivray, A., & Durrant, J.E. (2006). Child corporal punishment: Violence, rights and law. In R. Alaggia & C. Vine (Eds.), Cruel but not unusual: Violence in Canadian families (pp. 177-200). Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press.

Ateah, C., & Durrant, J.E. (2005). Maternal use of physical punishment in response to child misbehaviour: Implications for child abuse prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29, 177-193.

Durrant, J.E. (2005). Corporal punishment: Prevalence, predictors and implications for child behavior and development. In S. Hart (Ed.), Eliminating corporal punishment: The way forward to constructive child discipline (pp. 49-90). New York: UNESCO. 

Durrant, J.E., & Janson, S. (2005). Legal reform, corporal punishment and child abuse: The case of Sweden. International Review of Victimology, 12, 139-158.