I. Evidence of spanking as corporal punishment.
a.Population: Children at school age (Forehand & McMahon, 1981). The book successfully outlines the theoretical foundations of middle childhood and adolescence, in particular, the developmental tasks children are supposed to accomplish at certain age stage. The scholar also describes the distinctive features of boys’ and girls’ behavior and both implicitly and implicitly argues that mistakes and rule-breaking are critical in the process of obtaining autonomy in the middle childhood and early adolescence.
b.Prevalence: About 55% adults reported they were physically punished in the childhood and teen years (Hyman, 1995). The article provides a detailed description of incidence and prevalence of spanking: for instance, it is stated that boys are punished more frequently than girls, parents with higher education and higher social class are less likely to spank; female parents use this disciplinary method more often than male. Moreover, the paper addresses the most common reasons minors are slapped for and the most widespread threats, associated with spanking (parental aggression, transition from punishment to revenge) .
c. Significance: This is a debate that has been going on for decades. Some people believe it helps, others think it hinders a child’s social and behavioral development (Strauss and Donnelly, 2002). The writing is instrumental in its clear description of both parties of the spanking confrontation; importantly, the emphasis is placed upon the disputes between health care specialists and psychologists. The book also draws a distinction between spanking and physical abuse.
II. Behavioral Dimensions.
a. The impact of spanking on school behavior: Corporal punishment of children actually interferes with the process of learning and with their optimal development as socially responsible adults (Larzelere, 2005). The author provides a detailed review of existing studies, dedicated to the relationship between spanking and challenges in cognitive and emotional development. The article also illustrates the closed circle of physical punishment, which causes the fear of making a mistake and depresses concentration, critical thinking and initiative in behavior.
b. Spanking and aggressive or violent behavior: Researchers have also found that children who are spanked show higher rates of aggression and delinquency in childhood than those who were not spanked (Polaha, Larzelere, Shapiro & Pettit, 2004). The article points out the distinctive features and effects of spanking depending on ethnic group and shows that child maltreatment, or excessive use of physical measures, is an artificial means of disciplining minors, which does not allow them to develop self-discipline. In fact, when a child is battered at early age, they develop the convictions in the permissibility of misbehavior if it is not noticed by adults. Similarly, at older age, the person begins to believe that punishment will not follow a crime if the transgression is not revealed.
III. Psycho-Social Dimensions.
a. Impact of physical punishment on family atmosphere: When trust between children and their closest caretakers is damaged, the minor’s ability to form trusting relationships with others is also damaged, and the effect may be lifelong (Benjet & Kazdin, 2003). The article addresses the numerous long-term intrafamilial difficulties, resulting from spanking adolescents, including the disappearance of respect and trust.
b. Corporal punishment and antisocial behavior. Children show antisocial behaviors when corporal punishment is enforced: the probability of school dropout and minor crime increases. (Grogan-Kaylor, 2005). The research involved almost 2000 participants and was aimed at investigating the ways spanking impairs social life of male and female adolescents, their motivation to participate in community activities and social position in general.
V. Prevention of Spanking.
a. Strategies for strengthening mutual understanding between caregiver and minor: it is highly important that caregiver be aware of the causes of the child’s undesirable actions and the balancing options available (Strauss and Donnelly, 2002). The book also analyzes the relationship between parenting styles, family conflicts, socioeconomic background, parental values and child behavior, habits and conviction.
b. Discipline strategies, involving no use of physical power. There are compliance-gaining strategies that work with children most of the time: harmless and non-stopping dialogue, interest in teenager’s life and emotional support by necessity (Larzelere & Kuhn, 2005). The paper provides a very specific comparison of spanking and its “non-violence” alternatives and suggests that frequent spanking is much less helpful in the process of upbringing, except for the finding that it diminishes alcohol and substance abuse.
VI. Legal Frameworks and Policy Interventions.
a. Legal and policy aspects of spanking: there are no state laws against spanking, although 27 states have policies against the practice and this year Pennsylvania is debating becoming the 28th. Spanking in schools is currently allowed in 23 states although in many districts parents who object can withhold permission for school personnel to spank their kids (Durrant, 2004). The article draws parallels between children rights, declared in national and global legislation, and the state legal and policy foundations, regulating the treatment of minors.
b. Health care and policy efforts: traditionally, moderate spanking is non-injurious, so health care associations and factions are neutrally disposed to such disciplinary measure, as opposed to civil society groups and religious organizations which seek to cultivate new upbringing patterns and incorporate them into public policies (Larzelere, 2005). The book contains useful information about the undertakings of child protection groups and agencies of the similar profile as well as community efforts, directed to parenting skills training and parent education in general.