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Different Forms Of Spanking

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Spanking remains a common childrearing practice in Western culture. For generations, corporal punishment has been viewed as an important approach of discipline to ensure appropriate etiquette in children. Elizabeth T. Gershoff, a psychologist from the University of Texas, claims, “Roughly fifty percent of the parents of preschoolers in the United States use corporal punishment as a regular method of disciplining their children. By the time American children reach middle and high school, eighty-five percent have been physically punished by their parents” (Gershoff, par. 2). Decades of research, however, are presenting a growing body of evidence suggesting that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can engender severe risks to children.…show more content…
Gershoff who states that “[a] child does not get spanked and then run out to rob a store,” explains that the negative effects of physical punishment may not become evident for some time (Smith, par. 16). Instead, there are indirect changes in how children ponder emotion. A study published in Child Abuse and Neglect exposed a cycle of violence in homes where spanking was used. Researchers interviewed more than one-hundred families and found that children between the ages of three and seven who were physically punished were more likely to sanction hitting as a means of resolving their conflicts (Smith, par. 15). The study concluded that parents who had experienced corporal punishment as a child were more likely to believe it was an acceptable and in turn their children began to consider spanking as an appropriate disciplinary method (Smith, par. 15). However, some researchers disagree with the validity of these studies. Robert Larzelere, a professor at Oklahoma State University, agrees that parents should moderate their use of spanking, but indicates how “[m]ost of the cited studies do not show a casual link between physical punishment and long-term negatives effects for children” (Smith, par. 18). Gershoff agrees that all of the studies on physical punishment have some shortcomings, but explains how all the research that has been done should not be disregarded as there…show more content…
For generations, parents have used corporal punishment because of the belief that it will teach children the difference between right and wrong. Because research is unveiling staggering data suggesting that physical punishment puts children at serious risk, most psychologists do not recommend spanking when dealing with child behavior. Elizabeth Gershoff, a leading researcher on physical punishment at the University of Texas, explains that physical punishment is dangerous because it does not work to get children to comply. Additionally, psychology professor, Alan Kazdin, indicates how one cannot punish out the behaviors one does not want from children. Experiencing corporal punishment as a child is related to the psychological problems such as increased aggression and lower cognitive ability. A study published in Child Abuse and Neglect showcased how children who were spanked were more likely to endorse hitting as a means of resolving conflict (Smith, par. 15). Furthermore, two recent studies conducted by Murray Straus and Mallie Paschall implies that corporal punishment leaves a long-lasting mark in the form of lower IQ. Both of their research disclosed a lower IQ score of five points from children who were physically punished when compared to those who were not. In to avoid such detrimental effects, nonviolent techniques that use positive reinforcement and praise to reward children for
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