Scientific Evidence Supports Customary and Backup (Conditional) Spanking by Parents: Update of Larzelere and Baumrind (2010) and Fuller (2009)
12 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 25, 2019
This outline provides pincite references to research that supports appropriate disciplinary spanking, in contrast to the predominantly correlational evidence that the APA and AAP use to oppose all spanking. It summarizes meta-analyses that are ignored in scientific summaries that oppose spanking. And it includes evidence that backup spanking and phased-out spanking result in better outcomes compared to never-spanked children.
Two major publications in the past year indicate two things: First, correlational evidence against spanking is trivial after adjusting for preexisting child differences. And that trivial evidence is either harmful or helpful on average, depending on the statistical method used to adjust for preexisting differences.
Second, allegedly adverse effects of spanking are identical to the apparent effects of most corrective actions, when analyzed in the same way (e.g., longitudinal analyses controlling statistically for initial differences in outcome). This is true whether the corrective actions are by parents (e.g., other disciplinary responses) or professionals (e.g., treatments for depression in women).
Keywords: corporal punishment, spanking, physical punishment, corporal discipline, physical discipline, smacking, ban, methodology
JEL Classification: K36, I3, I30, Z1, Z10, Z13, Z18, I18, I28, I12, I20, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation