PSYCH 250 Chapter 3 part 1: Weeky reading: 3 Part 1

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7 Feb 2017

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PSYCH 250: Weekly Readings
Spanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now to Stop Hitting Our Children
By Elizabeth T. Gershoff
Spanking is a common form of punishment that is practiced in the United states.
Gershoff believes that spanking is a form of violence against children and should
no longer be part of American childrearing
What we know about spanking and child development
Spanking is ineffective
The main goals of parents when spanking
To punish misbehavior and thereby reduce recurrence of the
undesirable behavior
To increase the likelihood of desirable behavior in the future
Short-term noncompliance
Does the child stop misbehaving?
Spanking did not prove to be more effective than time-outs.
The children’s behavior was consistent regardless of the form of
Long-term noncompliance
Studies have found that spanking is associated with less-long term
compliance and evidence of conscience
Spanking does NOT reduce the child’s aggression. ‘
Why is it so ineffective?
It fails to adhere to the conditions that behaviorists say must exist for
punishment to be effective:
Delivered after every instance of the targeted behavior
Children learn by more complicated methods than just which behaviors
elicit a punishment; spanking alone does not teach children why their
behavior was wrong or what they should do instead-- it teaches them that
they must behave only when the threat of physical punishment exists.
Spanking is linked with numerous adverse side effects
Increase in mental health problems in childhood and adulthood
Could be a degree where it is physical abuse
Negative outcomes of spanking are similar across cultures
There is a belief that if the culture supports spanking, that spanking should be
Criticisms of spanking from outside the academy
Spanking is increasingly disavowed by professional organizations
AACAP, AHA, NAPNAP, NASW, have abandoned the practice of
Spanking violates children’s human rights
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