Getting spanked just that one time may not affect a child's relationship with their parents, but it may still be remembered and resented, Holden added.
Since 1986, the University of Chicago has been asking Americans the following question in its annual General Social Survey: "Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree that it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking?" The latest data, through 2016, show that 73.6% strongly agree or agree with that sentiment."It's been a controversial issue for several decades, with some parts of the country, like the South, using corporal punishment more than others," Rothman said, adding that religious fundamentalists are also more likely to believe in corporal punishment. It's a parenting strategy.""There's a tendency for adults who have been spanked to say 'I turned out just fine,' " Temple said.Yet another possibility is that adults with mental health problems could be more likely than healthy adults to recall being spanked as kids.Swift rebuttal Critics of spanking say the ideal study does not exist, as it would involve taking a group of similar children, asking the parents of half of them to spank and the other half not to, and observing the children as they grow up to see whether the spanked group is any different. Instead they point to various meta-analyses of large numbers of studies to prove their point about the dangers of corporal punishment."People say there is a debate about spanking. The data is very consistent," said Elizabeth Gershoff, associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin."Research is strongest for the use of spanking between the ages of 2 and 6, when milder types of correction have failed."Larzelere co-authored a position paper on spanking research for the the American College of Pediatricians, a small group of physicians who have a conservative stance on many parenting matters.
Some of its position papers state, for example, that homosexual parenting is harmful to children, gender dysphoria in children will be outgrown by adolescence and cohabitation before marriage will negatively impact any children born before, during or after cohabitation. Den Trumbull, concluded that "it's okay for parents to spank," but with some conditions: Parents should ensure children know it's "motivated by love and concern for their well-being" and be certain "they do not use disciplinary spanking too severely." Spanking should always be used in a manner that reduces the need to use it in the future, the paper said.
Parents who believe in "spare the rod, spoil the child" might be setting their children up to become violent toward future partners, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Pediatrics."We asked 758 kids between 19 and 20 years old how often they had been spanked, slapped or struck with an object as form of punishment when they were younger," said the study's lead author, Jeff Temple, an associate professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
"Kids who said they had experienced corporal punishment were more likely to have recently committed dating violence." This result, he said, held up even when contributing factors such as sex, age, parental education, ethnicity and childhood abuse were controlled."One of the advantages of our study was to control for child abuse, which we defined as being hit with a belt or board, left with bruises that were noticeable or going to the doctor or hospital," said Temple, who specializes in dating violence research.
During their investigations, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor also looked for evidence that supported people in the United States -- and researchers -- who think spanking is good for kids.
"We thought maybe we would find that in some studies, but we did not," Gershoff said.
So parents should distract, by giving them other things to do that are less disruptive or picking them up and moving them to a different place.