Externalizing Behavior for Children who Have Been Spanked Essay

Externalizing Behavior for Children who Have Been Spanked Essay

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Many U.S. parents believe in spanking their children when they behave badly. Straus and Stewart (as cited in Mulvaney & Mebert, 2007) found that "more than 90% of children and approximately 50% of adolescents have experienced corporal punishment at least once." Some research on this subject has shown that corporal punishment may increase the amount of externalizing behavior that children display rather than decreasing it. Other research on this subject has shown the opposite: Corporal punishment may not always be harmful or may only be harmful when it is harsh and excessive. Researchers that found an increase in externalizing behavior have hypothesized that children may model the parents' harsh behavior and therefore act out more after they have been spanked. They have also hypothesized that spanking may teach children that physical aggression is an appropriate way to make others comply with their wishes. Another hypothesis often addressed in this research is whether race and ethnic group may have a moderating effect on the relationship between corporal punishment and increased externalizing behavior.
In an article that focused on the relationship of corporal punishment to children's externalizing behaviors, Lansford, Wager, Bates, Pettit, and Dodge (2012) reported on the results of their experiment on the frequency and severity of spankings and the effects of those punishments. Lansford et al. regarded "externalizing behavior" as behavior that was considered inappropriate by parents or authority figures and/or behavior that was defiant, delinquent, or noncompliant in nature. They regarded "corporal punishment" as using physical force to inflict pain on the child, but not to injure the child in order to change the chil...


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...panking in one year would eventually increase to harsher spanking in the next year. They found that compared to the no spanking group, mild spanking led to a 50% increase in the risk of harsher spanking the next year.
In a study performed by Grogan-Kaylor (2004), the researchers examined the relationship between corporal punishment and antisocial behavior by analyzing data taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Their goal was to use stronger statistical controls than previous researchers used to analyze this data. They also wanted to examine whether the effect of corporal punishment on children's antisocial behavior depends on the frequency of the corporal punishment. Their last main hypothesis was to discover whether the race or ethnic group of the parent and child affected the impact corporal punishment had on the child's behavior.



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