Fox 4 News in its Feb. 28 segment “Spare the Rod” interviewed SMU psychologist George W. Holden about the controversial parenting book “To Train Up A Child.”

The book, written by a Tennessee pastor and his wife who are advocates of spanking, has been implicated in several child deaths at the hands of parents who claimed to be using corporal punishment in line with guidelines from the book.

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

Most recently he’s done research that provides 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.

A professor in the SMU Psychology Department, Holden is a leading advocate for abolishing corporal punishment in schools and homes and led organization of the 2011 Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline in Dallas.

For his outstanding dedication and service to the mental health needs of children and adolescents, Holden was honored Sept. 21, 2011 with The Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Award presented by Mental Health America of Greater Dallas.

Watch the Fox 4 segment.

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