Monthly Article Archives: April 2001

Perspectives on Discipline: The Power of Prevention – Part IIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my last newsletter I discussed spanking as a disciplinary technique. I presented research findings as well as my own observations about corporal punishment, arguing that it is a counterproductive form of discipline that may actually reinforce the very behaviors parents wish to stop in their children. I know that many well-meaning parents may occasionally spank their children, but I believe there are more effective ways of helping children learn right from wrong and developing a social conscience. I noted the work of Dr. Murray Straus, founder and co-director of the Family Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and author of, “”Beating the Devil Out of Them.”” Dr. Straus observed, “In the last three years, we’’ve had a revolution in our state of knowledge about spanking and violence. Spanking increases the probability of kids hitting other kids. It often leads to antisocial behavior like cheating and getting into trouble at school. When they are teenagers, these children are more likely to hit their parents. When they grow up, kids who have been spanked are more likely to hit their partners than kids who haven’’t.” I ended last month’s article by saying that I would devote this

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