Spanking - Andrew Hockenbery Polizzi Psych 215 Corporal...

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Andrew Hockenbery Psych 215 Polizzi 3/27/06 Corporal punishment, commonly known as spanking, has been put under much question and criticism in recent years. “Spanking is defined as hitting a child with an open hand on the buttocks or extremities with the intent to discipline without leaving a bruise or causing physical harm” (Benjet & Kazdin, 2002). Many questions about the effect that spanking has on the child have come to the forefront of psychological research. Other concerns include the possibility of alternative discipline and the actual effectiveness of corporal punishment. These questions and concerns have led to a large series of studies and large number of opinions on the matter by many researchers. Spanking has a long history of use, and surprisingly, even a long history of being studied. Since our country has been founded, corporal punishment has been known to show up as means of child discipline. A study done based on means of punishment in the early 1900s revealed a mix of feelings towards corporal punishment and its effects on the children. The study began with the analysis of 978 letters written to the educator Angelo Patri between the years of 1924 a d 1939. Of the initial sample of letters only 147 dealt with corporal punishment and means of hitting or spanking the child in any way. In these letters, parents would write and mention reasons for punishment and how the children reacted. Even then, this expert wrote out against corporal punishment in his articles and responses, saying most intelligent children could be reached without having to physically punish them. The overall result of the study showed that even back at that time, concern was being shown by many parents on what spanking could do to a child and other means
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of punishment were being investigated as to protect children (Chandler, Davis, & LaRossa, 2004). Many of these same trends have carried over to modern society. There are groups of parents who say they use spanking simply because it works for them. Others feel that spanking and corporal punishments are too harsh (Chandler et al, 2004). When looking into spankings, researchers questioned if there were certain groups of children more susceptible to physical punishment. No clear distinction has been found between ethnic groups, as some researchers found African Americans and other minorities more likely to approve of spanking than whites, and some researchers found the opposite. Other researchers even discovered that an equal percentage of parents for all groups had admitted to using corporal punishments. Socioeconomic factors also have been thought to have an effect on the use of corporal punishment. Certain studies have shown that low income and blue collar workers were more likely to physically punish their children. Middle and upper class families were found to be more apt to use less severe forms than
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Spanking - Andrew Hockenbery Polizzi Psych 215 Corporal...

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