Is Spanking Detrimental to Children?
Nicole SouthallUDC: Discovery Writing Research Proposal
Everybody wants to know if using the disciplinary act of spanking your child will be detrimental to them. To spank or not to spank that is the question now what is the answer? The answering about spanking depends on who you seek to respond to this issue. Spanking or corporal punishment is a very controversial topic with parents/guardian due to its lasting effects and the fact that there are various safe alternatives to discipline a child. Nearly half of U.S parents/guardians uses the disciplinary method of spanking their child(ren). Parents/guardians use the disciplinary act of beating to alleviate a negative behavior and heighten positive responses, but does this indeed it work? First let us take a look at what spanking is, who uses it and why, and lastly what are the long term effects of using the disciplinary act of spanking and other methods to use for disciplining a child.
To spank or not to spank—that is the question: whether ’tis right to place thy hand upon thy child without it being considered corporal punishment or should thy use other discipline methods upon thy child? Whether to spank your child or not has become a long drawn out debate about which form of discipline is the best and correct way for a child. On one side we have parents that believe some kids will learn from just a simple take a break or verbal redirection, however, we have other parents that think some children may need more than a take a break and talk, they need a spanking. Which is the best one? Which one is more efficient to the growth of a child and which one is more detrimental? Or could both methods of discipline be effective and ineffective on a child depending on who uses it and how it is used?
The goal of this research paper is to share out causes and effects of spanking, who does it versus who uses other disciplinary actions, and lastly other options to use for discipline instead of spankings. To gain this information, I used personal interviews of people who have and have not been spanked, people that were the spankers and people who chose another discipline action for their child(ren). By interviewing these people, it will help form a more personal and direct impact of this topic on spanking. I will also use various literature sources that speak about the cause and effects of spanking, the demographics, other disciplinary techniques that could help or not help. A few sources that I have found thus far are (more will be added as I continue my research paper:
Hugs, Not Hits: Warmth and Spanking as Predictors of Child Social Competence by Altschul, I, Gershoff, E ; Lee, Shawna (2016): This article compares whether maternal spanking or maternal warmth increase children social development and decrease aggression within a child and which method works best for children.
Correlates and Consequences of Spanking and Verbal Punishment for Low-Income, African American, and Mexican American Toddlers by Berlin, L, Malone, P S, Ayoub, et al.: This article speaks on the outcome of spanking and verbal punishment that is used in a specific demographic. The article tries to find the correlation between spankings/verbal punishment with aggression in children.
The God who spanks? Biblical perspectives on divine punishment and Christian parenting by Huckel, M (2016): In this article, it brings the religious viewpoints on spanking by using a verse from the Bible to apply it to discipline.
See Every Country Where Spanking Is Still Legal in One Chart by Time Magazine (2014): This article or live map lets us readers know where spanking is still legal and where they have outlawed it.
The culture, regional and generational roots of spanking by Wallace, Kelly (2014): In this article, it started off with Adrian Peterson’s child abuse charges and how Peterson shed light on his disciplinary actions is what he experienced as a child. Which brings up the point of how parents discipline their child can be a direct reflection on how they were raised and how their parents were also raised.
If anyone would have asked me before-hand would I spank my child, I would have automatically said yes. However, after becoming a teacher, I realized there are other ways to assert discipline without using your hands, of course since the teacher cannot hit children. This topic then had me open my eyes a little more because I am quick to say still, “Oh if this was my child I will take them into the bathroom and tear them up! I bet they would not remain acting like that!” But what does that beating do? What is the child learning? Is the way I was raised a significant influence on why I result back to beating despite the fact as a teacher I use other methods? I am curious about what other researchers have to say about spanking versus nonspeaking. I plan on seeking from this topic if there is anything useful in spankings or is the other disciplinary actions a better method to use.
When gathering most of my information, it appears to me the perspective of the researchers is that there is strong emotion and beliefs around spanking to the point that it could even be considered child abuse. We have researchers that look to find if spanking is sufficient, a quick fix to a problem or abusive compared to researchers seeking to see if other disciplinary actions are better. In some of the articles, the researcher explains that certain demographic (generation, racial, religion, and SES) groups used the method while other does not.