Info Changes Parents’ Minds About Corporal Punishment


Although extensive research links spanking to behavior problems, parents who spank often believe it is the way to be an effective parent.  Research from Southern Methodist University finds that very brief summaries of the research, significantly decreased parents’ positive attitudes toward corporal punishment.  To the researchers’ surprise, the effect was the same whether the information was presented within and active learning paradigm, or presented passively.  Results appeared in Child Abuse & Neglect.

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Child maltreatment and repeat presentations to the emergency department for suicide-related behaviors. Child Abuse & Neglect. February-March, 2013. 37(2-3)139-149.

Of further interest:
Parents less likely to spank after reading briefly about its links to problems in children (SMU Research)
Parental Ed on Spanking Helps to Change Behavior (Psych Central)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].