Verbal punishment is not associated with such effects, especially when it is accompanied by emotional support from moms. In addition, 1-year-olds' fussiness predicted spanking and verbal punishment at ages 1, 2, and 3.
The study, which explored whether mothers' behaviors lead to problematic behavior in children, whether children's challenging behaviors elicit harsher discipline, or both, appears in the September/October 2009 issue of the journal Child Development. It was conducted by researchers at Duke University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of South Carolina, Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Beliefs on spanking vary across cultures. In this study, the researchers looked at more than 2,500 exclusively low-income White, African American, and Mexican-American mothers and their young children, interviewing and observing them at home when the children were 1, 2, and 3 years old. All participants' family incomes were at or below the federal poverty level.
Using their own interpretations of spanking, mothers reported how often anyone in the home had spanked their children in the past week. Researchers also made in-home observations of how often mothers verbally punished (scolded, yelled, or made negative comments) their children during the visits.
The study found that African American children were spanked and verbally punished significantly more than the other children in the study. The authors speculated that this may be due to cultural factors, such as belief in the importance of children's respect for elders and in the value of physical discipline to instill that respect. Moreover, some African American mothers say that in preparing their children for a harsh, physically dangerous, and racially discriminating world, there is little room for error in their childrearing.
The authors also uncovered information about the effects of those types of discipline.
"Our findings clearly indicate that spanking affects children's development," according to Lisa J. Berlin, research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University and the study's lead author. Specifically, children who were spanked more often at 1 behaved more aggressively when they were 2 and had lower scores on tests measuring thinking skills when they were 3. These findings held up even after taking into consideration such family characteristics as mothers' race and ethnicity, age, and education; family income and structure; and the children's gender. The study also found that children who were more aggressive at age 2 and had lower cognitive development scores at ages 1 and 2 were not spanked more at ages 2 and 3. "So the mothers' behaviors look more influential than the children's," said Berlin.
Unlike spanking, however, verbal punishment alone didn't affect either children's aggression or their cognitive development. But interestingly, when verbal punishment was accompanied by emotional support from moms, the children did better on the tests of cognitive ability.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 80, Issue 5, Correlates and Consequences of Spanking and Verbal Punishment for Low-Income White, African American, and Mexican American Toddlers by Berlin, LJ (Duke University), Ipsa, JM, and Fine, MA (University of Missouri-Columbia), Malone, PS (University of South Carolina), Brooks-Gunn, J, and Bracy-Smith, C (Columbia University), Ayoub, C (Harvard University), and Bai, Y (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Copyright 2009 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sarah Hutcheon | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine