Spanking vs. Other Forms of Punishment
November 14, 2014
Every parent must decide for themselves how to discipline their children. Spanking is a controversial issue with many studies conducted on who is doing it, if it is effective, and what, if any effect does it have on children. Should a parent spank, or should they try other alternatives to discipline their children? This paper examines what experts and research has to say about spanking, its effectiveness, and long term effects on children. It is a very personal decision for parents, and is one that reaches not only their children, but the future generations of the family. A parent should study the research and be informed of all the consequences of spanking and to learn of other ways to discipline their children.
Definition of Spanking, Who Spanks, and Why
The term spanking is sometimes interchanged with the term corporal punishment. It means hitting, open handed, without lasting injury, to modify bad behavior of a child (Gershoff, 2010). There are different attitudes regarding spanking between races and cultures. Black parents accept spanking and consider it more effective than white parents as reported by Lamanna and Reidmann (2012). “Hispanic parents share the view of white parents, and therefore spank less than black parents” (Gershoff, Lansford, Sexton, Davis-Kean, & Sameroff, 2012, p.838). Lamanna and Reidmann noted that mothers are more often the ones spanking children as opposed to fathers, and less educated, younger parents spank at a higher rate than older more educated parents (p. 266). According to Elizabeth Gershoff,, “ By the time American children reach middle and high school, eighty-five percent have been physically punished by their parents” (2010 para. 4).
What are the reasons parents give for spanking? Spanking has been used as far back as history has been recorded, and “spanking also has strong ties with religion, especially...