Spare the rod, spoil the child?
November 9, 2010 5:08 PM Subscribe
Where can I find some good research literature on the effectiveness of corporal punishment as a means to discipline children?
posted by keep it under cover to science & nature (24 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm interested in reading good-quality, unbiased research into the effectiveness of corporal punishment on kids, particularly spanking.
For the sake of transparency, I ask because lately I've been hearing a lot of arguments for spanking. The most common arguments seem to be:
- I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine.
- Children don't always understand reason, sometimes you need to spank them to get the point across.
- Time outs (or other non-physical punishments) don't work, kids need to fear the consequences or they'll never listen.
- Spanking is fine as long as you only do it as a last resort.
Personally, I was spanked as a child and turned out fine, but for my sister and I the spanking was part and parcel of a rather miserable childhood. My parents did not have loving, healthy upbringings themselves, were uneducated, and saw little value in reflecting on the merits of their parenting methods. My fiance was never spanked, and we do not plan on using corporal punishment on our future children. I admit that neither of us know what it would have been like to have parents who only "pop" or "swat" their children lightly and never in anger. We have no experience of the middle of that spectrum.
I want to know what the research says. Does spanking help, hurt, or make no difference in the long run? Which methods of disciplining children are more or less effective than spanking? What are the psychological/emotional effects of spanking in the short and long term? If you can think of any other questions that should be asked in the same vein, please feel free to suggest them.