Times of India, spanking, Holden, SMU

The independent news provider Indo-Asian News Service covered the research of SMU psychologist George W. Holden about the controversial practice of corporal punishment. The coverage published in a Jan. 29 article “Spanking your kids won’t make them disciplined” in The Times of India and in India’s Business Standard.

Holden, an expert in families and child development, is a founding member of the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children, at endhittingusa.org.

He was recently elected president of Dallas’ oldest child abuse prevention agency, Family Compass.

Most recently his research showed that parents who favor spanking changed their minds after they were briefly exposed to summaries of research detailing the negative impact of corporal punishment on children. Holden, who considers spanking a public health problem, said the research indicates that parents’ attitudes about spanking could economically, quickly and effectively be changed to consider alternative disciplinary methods.

Holden’s earlier research provided a unique real-time look at spanking in a way that’s never before been studied. In a study of 37 families, mothers voluntarily recorded their evening interactions with their young children over the course of six days, including incidents of corporal punishment.

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Indo-Asian News Service
For parents who spank their children believing it’s an effective form of discipline, think again.

According to child psychologists, spanking is actually a harmful practice.

“Parents spank with good intentions – they believe it will promote good behaviour, and they don’t intend to harm the child. But research thinks otherwise,” said child psychologist George Holden, a professor in the Southern Methodist University’s department of psychology in Texas who has carried out extensive research on spanking.

Holden and her colleagues used a simple and inexpensive method to briefly expose participants to short research summaries that detailed spanking’s negative impact.

Carrying out two studies, one with non-parents and one with parents, Holden and his co-authors found that attitudes were significantly altered.

“These studies demonstrate that a brief exposure to research findings can reduce positive corporal punishment attitudes in parents and non-parents,” stressed Holden.

Read the full story.

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