SMU George Holden Shelly Slater, WFAA, corporal punishment spanking

TV journalist Shelly Slater with WFAA ABC News 8 covered the research of SMU psychologist George W. Holden about the controversial practice of corporal punishment. Her interview, “SMU study: Spanking doesn’t work,” aired April 22.

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

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It’s an age-old debate: Is spanking an effective way to control your child’s behavior?

Not according to a new study by a psychology professor at Southern Methodist University.

The spanking study followed 37 families. The mothers voluntarily recorded their evening interactions with their children over the course of six days. The results may surprise you.

Dr. George Holden led the study and joined News 8’s Shelly Slater to talk about his findings.

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

Most recently Holden’s research found that children misbehaved within 10 minutes of being spanked and that parents don’t follow the guidelines for spanking that pro-spanking advocates claim are necessary for spanking to be effective.

Other recent 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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