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Spanking: An Effective Form of Parenting, Or Child Abuse?

            Though looked down upon by many spanking is currently a common manner of discipline in many American households. The highly controversial issue of whether spanking is or is not harmful to children has always been actively debated by parents, teachers, and child researchers. Research has been conducted deeply on the topic, and now numerous issues regarding child development are arising from the results. A number of people feel that spanking is not a problematic form of discipline; many others have the antithesis to the theory. Families are finding less violent, more productive forms of parenting and discipline for their children. Spanking is now more then ever considered a form of poor parenting. .
             Children that were found to have been struck in during their childhood have revealed negative behavioral and mental characteristics later in life. Research conducted by the National Center for Children has confirmed that a large majority of children that were subjected to spanking, show signs of anxiety and aggressiveness in their adult lives. Such children, who were spanked, have also displayed effects of defiance to their parents, along with increased hostility to their peers (Gershoff N.P.). Research has also proven that children who were hit resent their parents, feel unloved and have become distant from other people around them. Children who were spanked have low self esteem and self respect. Studies conducted on children have shown no benefits as a result of spanking.
             Many parents and disciplinarians feel that spanking a child is morally and ethically wrong. "Hitting is wrong. To hit someone is a violent thing to do" says Murray A. Straus of neverhitachild.org (Straus N.P.) Hitting a small child is felt to be unfair because the child is defenseless to the act. This encourages violence as a form of control and discipline in the child's mind. When a child is hit it even makes the child feel as though he does not deserve any respect or appreciation.

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