Boston NPR: Researchers Catch Parents Spanking On Tape

Boston National Public Radio station WBUR interviewed SMU Psychologist George W. Holden about his research on corporal punishment for its “Here & Now” program.

A professor in the SMU Psychology Department, Holden is a leading advocate for abolishing corporal punishment in schools and homes and recently led organization of the Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline.

For his outstanding dedication and service to the mental health needs of children and adolescents, Holden will be honored Sept. 21 with The Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Award presented by Mental Health America of Greater Dallas.

Listen to the interview

EXCERPT:

WBUR News
Do you remember being spanked as a kid? To parents out there, do you ever spank your kids?

Researchers at Southern Methodist University have captured on tape what’s thought to be the first real-time data of parents using the punishment method and have some surprising findings.

George Holden, professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University told Here & Now’s Robin Young that, “Parents will typically say, yes, I believe in spanking, but I just use it as a last resort. And what we are finding is parents are using it for very trivial incidents.”

While fewer parents spank their kids than a generation ago, research shows that about 60 percent of parents spank their children aged 3 to 11 and nearly 80 percent of parents spank or slap their 3 to 5 year-olds.

Holden started looking at the effects of spanking after he had initially set out to study the impact of parents’ yelling at their kids, and instead was surprised to find how often spanking was used.

On Here & Now’s Facebook page, readers weighted in with a range of opinions:

Listen to the interview

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information see www.smu.edu.

SMU has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio, or online interviews. To speak with an SMU expert or book an SMU guest in the studio, call SMU News & Communications at 214-768-7650.

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