Drs. Murray Straus and Elizabeth Gershoff, leading researchers on the practice of corporal punishment, warn, “The research is clear – parents should NEVER spank their children.”
Afifi, Traci, Derek Ford, et al; Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect
February 2017, Meifang Wang, Child Development
Elizabeth T. Gershoff, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. Spanking and Child Outcomes: Old Controversies and New Meta-Analyses.. Journal of Family Psychology, 2016
Elizabeth Gershoff, Shawna Lee, Inna Altschul, Journal of Marriage & Family
Catherine Taylor, Journal of Child and Family Studies
March 16, 2015, Jennifer E. Lansford et al, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Save the Children & The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children
JAMA Pediatrics, April 28, 2014, David Finkelhor, PhD
Child Abuse & Neglect, March 3, 2014, Shawna Lee, Andrew Grogan-Taylor
American Psychological Association, February, 2014, George Holden, PhD
KRIMINOLOGISCHES FORSCHUNGSINSTITUT NIEDERSACHSEN E.V., 2014, Christian Pfeiffer, PhD. Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony, Hanover, G.ermany
Stefanie Kemme, Christian Pfeiffer, Journal of Family Violence
Child: Care, Health, and Development, February 24, 2013, S. Scott, J. Lewsey, L. Thompson, P. Wilson
Afifi, Tracie, Pediatrics, July 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-4021
Child Abuse & Neglect, November 16, 2013, George Holden
Spanking and Development Across the First Decade of Life, Pediatrics, October 21, 2013, Michael J. MacKenzie, PhD
Does Maternal Warmth Moderate Longitudinal Associations Between Maternal Spanking and Child Aggression in Early Childhood?, American Psychological Association, January, 2013, Gershoff, E.
Child Development Perspectives, Vol 7, #3, November 2013, Gershoff, E.
Children & Youth Services Review. Sep 2013, Vol. 35 Issue 9, p1476-1485. 10p, Lee, Shawna; Taylor, Catherine
Journal of Behavioral Medicine, September 2012, Michael E. Hyland, Ahmed M. Alkhalaf, Ben Whalley
Summary Analysis of the last 20 years of research on the effects of physical punishment on children.
Tracie O. Afifi, et al, Results from a Nationally Representative US Sample. PEDIATRICS, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Editor-in-Cheif calls for Ban on Spanking in Home based upon the Research!
Journal of Marriage & Family, October 2012, Maguire and Gromoske
Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2012, Joan Durrant PhD, Ron Ensom MSW RSW
Infant and Child Development Inf. Child. Dev. 21: 3–33 (2012), MacKenzie, M
Family Relations Apr 2012, Lansford, JE
Physical punishment and childhood aggression: the role of gender and gene–environment interplay, Brian B. Boutwell, AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Volume 37, pages 559–568 (2011)
Michael MacKenzie, et al Child Youth Serv. Rev. August 1, 2011, pgs.1364-1373
The Pitzer College Student Journal of Psychology, Volume 1, Fall 2011, Tamara A. Hamai, Ann Isbell, and Lillian Ku,
Corporal punishment in schools showed reduced executive functioning, abstract thinking, delayed gratification. Suggests that a punitive environment not only fosters increased dishonesty but also children’s abilities to lie to conceal their transgressions.
University of Toronto Social Development, Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 805–824, November 2011
Victoria Talwar, McGill University, Stephanie M. Carlson, University of Minnesota and Kang Lee
Pediatrics 2010; 125:5 e1057-1065, Catherine A. Taylor, Jennifer A. Manganello, Shawna J. Lee, and Janet C. Rice
Duke Law, Law & Contemporary Problems, Volume 73, Number 2 (Spring 2010)
Child Abuse Review Vol. 20: 57–66 (2011), Published online 18 June 2010 in Wiley Online Library, (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/car.1128, Adam J. Zolotor
Reduced Prefrontal Cortical Gray Matter Volume in Young Adults Exposed to Harsh Corporal Punishment, NeuroImage, Volume 47, Supplement 2, August 2009, Pages T66–T71, Akemi Tomoda, MD, PhD, Ann Polcari, PhD and Martin H. Teicher, MD
Dr. Murray Straus, Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire
Columbus, OH: Center for Effective Discipline, Gershoff, E.
This is a summary analysis of research on physical punishment published by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, CANADA
Dr. Murray A. Straus, Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire
Pediatrics June 2006, 117:6 2055-2064; doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2204, Brigitte Vittrup, George W. Holden, & Jeanell Buck
Dr. Bugental, The hormonal costs of subtle forms of infant maltreatment, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara; US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; January 2003
Sweden banned spanking in the home in 1979, and has conducted a 30-year-long longitudinal study to understand its results….
What are the outcomes from the ban on spanking in Sweden over thirty years later? Read the longitudinal study by Sweden’s Ministry of Health & Social Affairs.
Pediatrics Vol. 95 No. 1 January 1, 1995 pp. 105 ‐111
Rebecca R. S. Socolar, Ruth E. K. Stein
Objectifying people and using euphemisms that minimize their needs and suffering is destructive and dangerous. It has long been understood using euphemisms is essential for enabling soldiers to perform acts of torture on the perceived enemy. This very same phenomena occurs with children, allowing us to minimize their pain and condone violence against them – irrespective of the very real and actual harm being done to them.
Do you remember Adrian Peterson’s son? Clearly Peterson assaulted his 4-year-old son with a tree switch, evidenced by lacerations on his bottom, legs, and scrotum. There were a variety of words used to describe this incident, and it is those words that carried with it a perception of how much harm was actually caused to the child. This research helps us understand that it is not only the act itself that informs us of the degree of harm, but the words we use to describe that act. Although the word spank, swat, hit, slap, and beat may be functionally indistinguishable in the media’s descriptions of the Adrian Peterson case, each term evoked different interpretations of the associated parental behavior.
Here are a few of the highlights of the research:
• When spanking is viewed as common, people are more likely to view it as acceptable and effective. If something is common, we have a tendency to think it is also OK.
• People view spanking as common (more than other words that describe the very same act such as swat, slap, hit, beat)
• Research has already found that language contributes to the mistreatment, abuse, and denial of a child’s rights
Holden found that because the word spank is seen as a common, acceptable, and effective, its use has an effect of sanitizing or normalizing harsh punishment. The words we use influence how we perceive an act.
Consider an interesting piece of corollary research that studied the power of words to alter perception of the same event. This study compared synonyms to explore how singular word labels alter memory of the severity of a witnessed experience. After viewing a slide show depicting an automobile accident, participants were given one of five verbs (“collided,” “bumped,” “hit,” “contacted,” or “smashed”) to describe the accident. Subsequent estimates of vehicle speed prior to the accident were influenced by the verb used (i.e., “hit” ! 34 mph, “smashed” ! 41 mph). In addition, more severe verbs increased the percentage of participants who later claimed to have seen broken glass on the road (“hit” ! 7%; “smashed” ! 16%) even though none appeared in the accident scene.
We already know we should NOT hit children. As a culture, we are having difficulty recognizing what spanking actually is, as evidenced by the shame that parents feel when they finally do.