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A Policy Analysis of No Hit Zones: What are Barriers to No Hit Zone Implementation?

Fri, March 22, 7:45 to 9:15am, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 1, Exhibit Hall B

Integrative Statement

This poster examines the policy of No Hit Zones (NHZs) and barriers to their implementation. The central research question is, “What are the barriers to No Hit Zone implementation in institutions, such as hospitals and District Attorney’s offices?” NHZs designate spaces where no hitting of any kind is tolerated and serve as an intervention to prevent corporal punishment and shift cultural norms away from physical discipline, starting at the institution-wide level. Through training programs that accompany implementation, NHZs equip professionals, from healthcare providers to city officials, with the skills to de-escalate hitting incidences and discuss alternatives to corporal punishment with parents. Since Lolita McDavid created the NHZ concept at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in 2005, NHZs have expanded rapidly beyond pediatric hospitals to District Attorney’s Offices, health departments, and even the entire city of Stoughton, Wisconsin ( However, current research on NHZs is limited, with only one peer-reviewed article published on the policy (Frazier, Liu, & Dauk, 2014). Frazier et al. provide an overview of the NHZ policy and implementation at Kosair Children’s Hospital (now Norton Children’s Hospital); however, it is an initial exploration and does not include any data. Additionally, there is no comprehensive list of the over 30 NHZs around the country. This poster addresses the substantial research gap on NHZs by collecting and analyzing qualitative data from interviews of individuals involved in NHZ implementation. Using information gathered in these interviews, this poster presents a full list of established NHZs and examines the three most common barriers in NHZ implementation: resource issues, lack of information about training programs, and the framing of the NHZ policy. Resource issues include limited funding, staff turnover, and competing demands, including from other prevention programs. In addition, no research exists on the effectiveness of different training programs, and institutions sometimes struggle to coordinate training with limited time and money. Finally, individuals, particularly hospital administrators, debate the negative framing of the NHZ, and some prefer a title without the word “no.” By providing a policy analysis of NHZs, this poster aims to aid institutions interested in implementing NHZs and raise awareness about the policy.


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