Corporal punishment is often defined broadly as bodily punishment of any kind. Since this definition includes spanking as well as obviously abusive acts such as kicking, punching, beating, face slapping and even starvation. More specific definitions must be used to separate appropriate versus in inappropriate corporal punishment. Spanking is one of many disciplinary responses available to parents intended to shape appropriate behavior in the developing toddler and child. Child development experts believe spanking should be used mainly as a back up to primary measures, and then independently to correct deliberate and persistent problem behavior that is not remedied with milder measures. Spanking, as recommended by most primary care physicians (McCormick, 1992) is not violence by definition (“exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse”) (Webster Ninth New Collegiate dictionary, 1987). Parents who properly spank do not injure or abuse their child. Though the specific use of appropriate spanking has rarely been studied, there is evidence of its short term and long-term effectiveness. When combined with reasoning, the use of negative consequences (including spanking) does effectively decrease the frequency of misbehavior recurrences with preschool children (Larzelere & Merenda, 1994). In clinical field trails where parental spanking has been studied, it has consistently been found to reduce the subsequent frequency of non-compliance with timeout (Roberts & Powers, 1990). Spanking, as an effective enforcer of time out, is a component of several well-researched parent training programs (Forehand & Mc Mohan, 1981) and popular parenting texts (Clark, 1985). Baumrind (1973) in his study points out that "parents taking extreme approaches to discipline (authoritarian type using excessive punishment with less encouragement or permissive types using little punishment and no spanking) were less successful. He concluded from this study "did not indicate the negative reinforcement or corporal punishment per so were harmful or ineffective procedures, but rather the total patterns of parental control determined the effects of the child of these procedures'. The approach of balanced parenting by employing the occasional use of spanking, is advocated by several child-rearing experts. In the hands of loving parents spanking to the
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