Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Brittany Hearne

Committee Member

Juan Bustamante

Second Committee Member

Jeffrey Gruenewald


Timore-Leste, Southeast Asia, East Timor, Corporal Punishment, Physical Punishment, High School education, High School enrollment


This research examines the impacts of corporal punishment for Timorese high school graduates. Physical punishment is a pervasive method of disciplining students and children used in Timor-Leste because it has been such a tradition (UNICEF 2017). Few researchers have attempted to analyze the negative impacts of corporal punishment and possible gender differences; there is no known research on the impacts of corporal punishment in Timor-Leste. This study uses an in-depth interview method, where data were collected from 26 Timorese high school graduates composed of both men and women from both private and public schools in Timor-Leste. The ages of the participants range from 19 to 33 years old. This study examines how the Timorese high school graduates describe the impacts of corporal punishment at school. The data reveal there are physical impacts--scars and continuous pain in parts of the body; emotional impacts--trauma and fear; academic impacts--avoiding certain subjects in higher education such as Math and Physics; and social impacts--where the Timorese high school graduates continue to use the physical discipline method on others, such as siblings or family units. The effects of corporal punishment were described similarly by both men and women in this study depending on their experiences. Therefore, it is important for education policy makers to consider making a strong rule against corporal punishment used at school to reduce negative impacts of physical violence as well as stopping the cycle of violence.