Saturday, January 16, 2010

New spanking research

The NY Daily News reports:
Spanking makes kids perform better in school, helps them become more successful: study

A study, which found that young children whose parents spank them perform better at school later on, isn’t winning high marks with child development experts.
Po Bronson writes in Newsweek:
For decades, research on spanking was challenged by the lack of a control group to compare against - almost all kids (90+%) had been spanked at least once, at some time in their early lives. New research shows that now up to 25% of kids are never spanked, so it's a fair question: How are they turning out? Are they turning out better? Surprisingly, they're not.

In NurtureShock, we described some extensive cross-ethnic and international research on spanking by Drs. Jennifer Lansford and Ken Dodge.

Their data suggested that if a culture views spanking as the normal consequence for bad behavior, kids aren’t damaged by its occasional use.

To explain this shocker, the scholars suggested that in cultures or communities where spanking is common, parents are less agitated when administering spankings. Spanking almost never -- when combined with losing your temper -- can be worse than spanking frequently.
This is not the last word on the subject. I am sure that people will disagree for decades to come. But don't believe anyone who tells you that science has proved spanking to be ineffective or harmful. Spanking is just as good as the other methods in the studies, and maybe better.

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