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Peer DRAFT spanking COM 125 - Spanking i Spanking Child...

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Spanking i Spanking: Child Abuse or Not Margaret Fancher Axia College of University of Phoenix COM125 Utilizing Information in College Writing Judith Montoya February 11, 2006
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Spanking 1 There has been much debate over the use of spanking as a form of discipline. Other countries to include Sweden and Canada have enacted laws to end corporal punishment of children, and many states in the U.S. have also followed suit. Claims have been made in support of and against the idea that spanking is abusive, but in spite of these claims, spanking, if conducted properly, can be an effective form of discipline. To differentiate between spanking and physical abuse, spanking has been 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.” (Kazdin and Benjet, 2003, pg. 100). Child Welfare Information Gateway (2006) reports physical abuse occurs when a parent carries out an act, or even fails to act, in a manner which results serious physical or emotional harm, even death, towards a child. Physical abuse also includes striking a child with an inanimate object such as a belt, wooden spoon or switch. Since some parents characterize a spanking with the use of something other than their hands, spanking, according to federal law, is child abuse, but some parents are still spank their children. In fact, Tharps (2003) reports that “50 to 60 percent of American parents say they administer spankings.” (para. 3). The debate extends even to the definitions of spanking and physical abuse because it is left to interpretation by each individual. The law itself on child abuse is left up to interpretation by each state, law enforcement personnel, social workers, and others who are obligated to act on any suspicions of abuse. Included in numerous research studies conducted on spanking are ones that look into why some parents opt to spank. Some experts believe that by focusing on why some parents feel that spanking is still appropriate and where they receive their information would help in understanding what is needed to change this viewpoint. One such study conducted brought to light where parents may be receiving their information on discipline. The study contained
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Spanking samples of parents who either spanked or did not spank their children, and who had children ranging from age two to 14 years old. It found that over half of parents who spanked received their information from a parent, relative and/or friend, but also found that these same parents felt
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