The Spanking Debate
Listed below are links to articles addressing the debate over the use of disciplinary spanking.
Duke Law in its Law and Contemporary Problems (2010. vol. 72, no. 2) published a series of articles, Corporal Punishment of Children, by authors for and against the use of disciplinary spanking.
Larzelere/Straus Debate (June, 1999): A summary of Dr. Larzelere’s presentation in a debate with Straus about spanking. In this summary, Larzelere reports that the small detrimental child outcomes reported by Straus, Sugarman & Giles-Sims (1997) for 6- to 9-year-olds is not unique to spanking. A further analysis of the Straus, et al. data revealed that identical small detrimental child outcomes were also found for all four alternative disciplinary responses for 6- to 9-year-olds (grounding, sending the child to a room, removing privileges, and taking away an allowance). The debate was held at a conference of the National Foundation for Family Research and Education at Banff in Alberta, Canada.
Den Trumbull, MD has created a Summary of the Spanking Debate.
The so-called “Positive Parenting” movement claims that only positive consequences are necessary to successfully rear a child. It asserts that all negative consequences, including time-out or intentional ignoring, are harmful. It was with this perspective that activists began years ago to attack a parent’s use of spanking, but now their opposition extends to all forms of punishment. For an excellent analysis of this debate, view Children and Parents Deserve Better Parental Discipline Research.
Here are links to articles attempting to address the spanking debate: