Studies, Reviews and Research

Children should never, ever, be spanked no matter what the circumstances [Straus, M.A. 2005]

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“Children Should Never, Ever, Be Spanked No Matter what the Circumstances,” is the title to Dr. Murray A. Straus’ chapter in a 2005 book on family violence.

Children should never, ever be spanked. Yet, according to Straus, many parents rely on this form of discipline. The paper argues that spanking is problematic for two reasons: It interferes with cognitive functioning, causing the child to experience such negative emotions as stress and fear; and secondly, small children who are spanked usually do not understand why they are being spanked, and do not equate the spanking with throwing food on the floor or other behavior that has annoyed the parent.

In this paper, Straus drives home the points that : 1. Spanking has serious harmful side effects that parents have no way of seeing, because such effects do not show up until later. 2. Spanking is no more effective than other methods of correction and control, and it is therefore unnecessary to subject children to the risk of the harmful side effects. 3. Spanking contradicts the ideal of nonviolence in the family and society

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