Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Research on Corporal Punishment...

...or why spanking doesn't work.

A new report on spanking confirms and rather puts a nail in the coffin of the idea of spanking as a good idea. From the University of Texas at Austin...

The more children are spanked, the more likely they are
to defy their parents and
to experience increased anti-social behavior,
mental health problems and
cognitive difficulties,

according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking.

The study, published in this month's Journal of Family Psychology, looks at five decades of research involving over 160,000 children. The researchers say it is the most complete analysis to date of the outcomes associated with spanking, and more specific to the effects of spanking alone than previous papers, which included other types of physical punishment in their analyses.

"Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors," says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. "We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents' intended outcomes when they discipline their children..."

Both spanking and physical abuse were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.

"We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors," she says. "Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree."

Gershoff also noted that the study results are consistent with a report released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that called for "public engagement and education campaigns and legislative approaches to reduce corporal punishment," including spanking, as a means of reducing physical child abuse. "We hope that our study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline."

Read more in Science Daily...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had to chuckle once when reading a biography of Paul McCartney. When he felt unfairly punished by his parents, he would find a sneaky way to even up the score (as he saw it). For instance, he would sneak into their bedroom and tear a subtle slit in the curtain.

I remember two occasions where I got spanked hard by my father over things I still don't think should have resulted in that punishment. Had I been as clever a lad as young McCartney, I would have found some sneaky way of getting some satisfaction back.