The Right of Parents to Discipline their Children - Presentation to the Child Care and Protection Forum – 21 May 2013
Department of Social Development
Presentation to the Child Care and Protection Forum – 21 May 2013
THE RIGHT OF PARENTS TO DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN
Thank you for this opportunity to present a submission on the “positive discipline of children.” The Christian Action Network contributed a submission regarding the issue of parental corporal punishment, to the South African Law Reform Commission in 2003 and to Parliament in 2007. The Christian Action Network is an umbrella body of Christian congregations and organisations that stand together in the socio-political arena to uphold pro-life and pro-family values. CAN represents its 100 member organisations to government and to the media. CAN has consistently made submissions to Parliament regarding legislative threats to the family for the last 22 years.
Locking Up Parents?
The government proposes to change the law on corporal punishment. Will ordinary parents risk jail for smacking their own children? Given what has already happened to some parents under existing anti-smacking laws in Sweden and Scotland we do not think that this prospect is far fetched.
The government says that they want to stop “cruel and degrading treatment”1 of children and claims that non-abusive parents who spank their children will not be jailed. This sounds good on the surface, but the problem is that many social workers and childcare “experts” openly believe that ordinary smacking (or spanking) and “harmful and degrading treatment” are one and the same thing. They will be the people who implement the new law. They will be the ones investigating parents. They will be the ones reporting cases to the police. They will be the ones giving evidence in court. This is cause for concern.
What are the real causes of child abuse?
There are many factors that make children vulnerable to child abuse in South Africa, some of which have been unleashed by the SA government’s own foolish laws.
The proposed spanking ban from children’s rights groups – touted to reduce child abuse – is ironic in the light of fact that abortion is the worst form of child abuse – it kills an innocent and defenceless baby and leaves the mother emotionally and sometimes physically wounded.
We all agree that child pornography is a heinous crime, but it is adult pornography that helps to fuel the prevalence of child pornography and it is often the addicts who abuse children.
A booklet (“Talk About Children at Risk”) written by the South African Police Services (SAPS) Child Protection Unit(CPU), noted that: “In 1996 the Films and Publications Act was passed, legalising pornography for the first time in the history of the country. This made it possible for child abusers, rapists and paedophiles to obtain all the material they needed. Statistics tell the story as South African Police Service records show that child rape increased over 400%”! The police report further stated that: “Research with child sexual offenders reveals that all have used child pornography.”
This is of course exactly what the Christian Action Network warned about in its submissions and testimonies before the Parliamentary subcommittee that was drafting the new Films and Publications Act in 1995 and 1996. Pornography plays a significant role in the occurrence of rape and child abuse. Pornography is the theory - rape is the practice. Pornography is a manual for rape and child abuse.
87% of molesters of girls and 77% of molesters of boys studied in Ontario, Canada, admitted to regular use of hard-core porn.
Pornography, especially child pornography, is used by paedophiles for three reasons:
- to stimulate themselves;
- to destroy the consciences and lower the inhibitions and resistance to sexual activity in their intended child victims; and
- to teach the child what to model in their sexual encounter with the adult.
An article in the Cape Argus (24 July, 2000) “Trail of Abused Kids as Sex Suspect Stalks Cape,” reported that the 50-year-old paedophile who had left a “sordid trail of child abuse” used pornography to lure his victims into his bedroom and to desensitise them to his perversions.
The flood of sexualized media on television and billboards, and the immoral, explicit sex education taught in schools that teaches children the mechanics of sex, can also be considered child abuse. The evolution brainwashing, you came from nothing and you are going nowhere and situation ethics taught in schools, could equally be considered child abuse.
Other major contributing factors to child abuse that have been detailed in two UNICEF Research Reports2 include drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, and children not living with biological parents.
Interestingly, in the 2007 “An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries” UNICEF report, of the 10 top countries that were deemed safest and promoted the highest level of well-being for children, six had not banned smacking. The safest country in the report (the Netherlands) had not banned smacking. In other words, to try and suggest that a smack is child abuse is simply not true, and is an insult to good parents.
Example of a Scottish Father Who Got Jailed for Smacking His Daughter
Mr F did not spend Christmas 1998 with his family. The 48-year-old primary teacher was banned for two weeks from visiting his own home following his arrest by the police. He was allowed three one-hour visits to see his three children accompanied by social workers.
The story began when his eight-year-old daughter had been in pain over a bad tooth for days despite a full dose of Calpol. It was Christmas Eve. There was only one remedy. The tooth had to be pulled. The dentist had to be seen. But after 40 minutes in the waiting room she still refused to have an anaesthetic injection. Mr F “snapped”. He later admitted that he had “gone over the top”. According to a member of staff at the Health Centre he smacked his daughter’s bare bottom six or seven times. Shortly afterwards the girl submitted to having the tooth removed. Meanwhile a telephone call was made to the social work department. It was not long before Mr F found himself in a police cell.
Mr F was released on bail conditions which required that he stay away from his home. After a two week stay with relatives Mr F was allowed to go back. Every week following social workers visited to check up on his ability as a parent.
Mr F was suspended on full pay from his teaching duties. Instead he worked in the school library. On 19 May 1999 the case came to court. He was found guilty of assault. Sheriff Dan Russell said “The blows were clearly sore and must have caused her pain. In my opinion this was unnecessary suffering. I therefore find the accused guilty of the charge.” During the trial the eight-year-old girl gave evidence that she was not sore.
Mrs F said that her daughter cried every day her father had been away from home because she missed him so much. The girl was “physically ill” for three days after giving evidence.
After the verdict the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Save the Children called for all parental smacking to be banned.
On 9 June Sheriff Russell formally admonished Mr F who was much relieved. He could have faced a three month jail sentence. A request by social workers to have the children made the subjects of a supervision order was deferred for a Children’s Panel report. On 2 July Sheriff MacDonald sitting in the same Hamilton Court abandoned the case. The request to grant a supervision order was initially refused but then subsequently it was granted and social workers still make weekly visits to check up on Mr F’s abilities as a parent.
After the trial the girl was afraid to sleep in her own bed and was reluctant to leave her parents’ presence.
Mr F’s crime was to smack his own daughter. The case attracted worldwide attention. Many parents thought that it could easily have been them. As Mr F’s union representative said “If you take this to a logical conclusion, as I see it, if parents were to be locked up for smacking their children then we would be locking up half the parents in Scotland”.
Mr F lost his temper, in his own words he went “over the top”. That was wrong, but which caused more harm to his daughter, the seven smacks or the even more heavy-handed tactics of social services and the police? An unfortunate incident which could have been easily forgotten by all was turned into an on-going nightmare courtesy of North Lanarkshire Social Work Department.
Existing Law is Firm Enough
“Unreasonable chastisement” is currently against the law and this is firm enough to execute justice against genuine child abusers. However, to specifically outlaw “reasonable chastisement” is to force parents to neglect their Biblical and civic duty to discipline their children.
An outright ban on smacking could not be consistently enforced. It would waste police time on trivial incidents while genuine cases of child abuse go unchecked.
Differences in law for children
To say children should have the same protection under the law as adults, is an absurd oversimplification. There are many differences in law for children. For obvious reasons children are not allowed to drink alcohol, purchase cigarettes, drive, marry, vote or own a firearm license. No one claims 'inequality' on these issues.
A vocal minority is calling for a total ban on all forms of physical punishment. This minority includes well-organised children’s charities and child-rights groups. They say that all smacking is child abuse. Most people disagree. Most reasonable people see there is a world of difference between abuse and loving discipline.
Mothers bear the burden of looking after young children. New laws on physical punishment will therefore target mothers as they struggle to raise their children. Children could convict their parents of assault just for spanking them.
Of course it is never right for a parent to spank when they have lost their temper. Nor should a parent discipline a child for being a child, it would be indefensible to smack a child who simply made a child’s mistake. And parents should never have inappropriate expectations or put impossible demands on their children. All this represents bad parenting. But banning all smacking is unnecessary and unworkable.
Child abuse is already illegal. Social workers and the police certainly have their work cut out keeping up with the number of cases, but the law-makers have failed to explain how there are problems with the existing law.
The existing law is firm enough and fair enough to protect children. Our recommendation is to leave the existing law as it is.
Research That Challenges Spanking Critics
I will now be citing research from: “ Spare the Rod? The Research Challenges Spanking Critics,” by Den Trumbull, M.D. and S. DuBose Ravenel, M.D., of the Family Research Council.
Dr. Trumbull is a board-certified paediatrician in private practice in Montgomery, Alabama. He is a member of the Section on Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics of the American Academy of Paediatrics. Dr. Ravenel is a board-certified paediatrician in private practice in High Point, North Carolina. He served for 11 years on the paediatric faculty of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine prior to entering private practice.
Responding to Unsubstantiated Claims Made Against Spanking
Opposition to parents spanking their children has been growing significantly in ‘Child Care and Development’ circles over the past 20 years4. No doubt much of this opposition springs from a sincere concern for the well-being of children. Child abuse is a reality, and stories of child abuse are horrifying. But while loving and effective discipline is quite definitely not harsh and abusive, neither is it weak and ineffectual. Indeed, disciplinary spanking can fall well within the boundaries of loving discipline and need not be labelled abusive violence5.
According to a Voter/Consumer Research poll commissioned by the Family Research Council, 76 percent of the more than 1,000 Americans surveyed said that spanking was an effective form of discipline in their home when they were children6. These results are made all the more impressive by the fact that nearly half of those who answered otherwise grew up in homes in which they were never spanked. Taken together, more than four out of five Americans who were actually spanked by their parents as children say that it was an effective form of discipline.
In addition, Americans perceive lack of discipline to be the biggest problem in public education today, according to a Gallup poll7. Several studies show strong public support for corporal punishment by parents.8
Critics claim that spanking a child is abusive and contributes to adult dysfunction. These allegations arise from studies that fail to distinguish appropriate spanking from other forms of punishment. Abusive forms of physical punishment such as kicking, punching, and beating are commonly grouped with mild spanking. Furthermore, the studies usually include, and even emphasize, corporal punishment of adolescents, rather than focusing on preschool children, where spanking is more effective. This blurring of distinctions between spanking and physical abuse, and between children of different ages, gives critics the illusion of having data condemning all disciplinary spanking.
There are several arguments commonly levelled against disciplinary spanking. Interestingly, most of these arguments can be used against other forms of discipline. Any form of discipline (time-out, restriction, etc.), when used inappropriately and in anger, can result in distorting a child's perception of justice and harming his emotional development. In light of this, let us examine some of the unfounded arguments promoted by spanking opponents.
Argument #1: Many psychological studies show that spanking is an improper form of discipline.
Counterpoint: Researchers John Lyons, Rachel Anderson and David Larson of the US National Institute of Healthcare Research conducted a systematic review of the research literature on corporal punishment.9 They found that 83 percent of the 132 identified articles published in clinical and psychosocial journals were merely opinion-driven editorials, reviews or commentaries, devoid of new empirical findings. Moreover, most of the empirical studies were methodologically flawed by grouping the impact of abuse with spanking. The best studies demonstrated beneficial, not detrimental, effects of spanking in certain situations. Clearly, there is insufficient evidence to condemn parental spanking and adequate evidence to justify its proper use.
Argument #2: Spanking teaches children physical violence is a way of solving problems.
Counterpoint: The "spanking teaches hitting" belief has gained in popularity over the past decade, but is not supported by objective evidence. A distinction must be made between abusive hitting and non-abusive spanking. A child's ability to discriminate hitting from disciplinary spanking depends largely upon the parents' attitude with spanking and the parents' procedure for spanking. There is no evidence in the medical literature that a mild spank to the buttocks of a disobedient child by a loving parent teaches the child aggressive behaviour.
The critical issue is how spanking (or, in fact, any punishment) is used more so than whether it is used. Physical abuse by an angry, uncontrolled parent will leave lasting emotional wounds and cultivate bitterness and resentment within a child. The balanced, prudent use of disciplinary spanking, however, is an effective deterrent to aggressive behaviour with some children.
Researchers at the Centre for Family Research at Iowa State University studied 332 families to examine both the impact of corporal punishment and the quality of parental involvement on three adolescent outcomes - aggressiveness, delinquency, and psychological well-being. The researchers found a strong association between the quality of parenting and each of these three outcomes. Corporal punishment, however, was not adversely related to any of these outcomes. This study proves the point that quality of parenting is the chief determinant of favourable or unfavourable outcomes.10 Remarkably, childhood aggressiveness has been more closely linked to maternal permissiveness and negative criticism than to even abusive physical discipline.11
It is unrealistic to expect that children would never hit others if their parents would only exclude spanking from their discipline options. Most children in their toddler years (long before they are ever spanked) naturally attempt to hit others when conflict or frustration arises. The continuation of this behaviour is largely determined by how the parent or caregiver responds. If correctly disciplined, the hitting will become less frequent. If ignored or ineffectively disciplined, the hitting will likely persist and even escalate. Thus, instead of contributing to greater violence, spanking can be a useful component in an overall plan to effectively teach a child to stop aggressive hitting.
Argument #3: Since parents often refrain from hitting until the anger or frustration reaches a certain point, the child learns that anger and frustration justify the use of physical force.
Counterpoint: A study published in Paediatrics indicates that most parents who spank do not spank on impulse, but purposefully spank their children with a belief in its effectiveness.12 Furthermore, the study revealed no significant correlation between the frequency of spanking and the anger reported by mothers. Actually, the mothers who reported being angry were not the same parents who spanked.
Reactive, impulsive hitting after losing control due to anger is unquestionably the wrong way for a parent to use corporal punishment. Eliminating all physical punishment in the home, however, would not remedy such explosive scenarios. It could even increase the problem. When effective spanking is removed from a parent's disciplinary repertoire, he or she is left with nagging, begging, belittling, and yelling, once the primary disciplinary measures -- such as time-out and logical consequences -- have failed. By contrast, if proper spanking is proactively used in conjunction with other disciplinary measures, better control of the particularly defiant child can be achieved, and moments of exasperation are less likely to occur.
Argument #4: Physical punishment is harmful to a child.
Counterpoint: Any disciplinary measure, physical, verbal or emotional, carried to an extreme can harm a child. Excessive scolding and berating of a child by a parent is emotionally harmful. Excessive use of isolation (time-out) for unreasonable periods of time can humiliate a child and ruin the measure's effectiveness. Obviously, excessive or indiscriminate physical punishment is harmful and abusive. However, an appropriately-administered spanking of a forewarned disobedient child is not harmful when administered in a loving controlled manner.
Without the prudent use of spanking for the particularly defiant child, a parent runs the risk of being inconsistent and rationalizing the child's behaviour. This inconsistent manner of parenting is confusing and harmful to the child and is damaging to the parent-child relationship. There is no evidence that proper disciplinary spanking is harmful to the child.
Argument #5: Physical punishment makes the child angry at the parent.
Counterpoint: All forms of punishment initially elicit a frustrated, angry response from a child. Progression of this anger is dependent primarily upon the parent's attitude during and after the disciplinary event, and the manner of its application. Any form of punishment administered angrily for purposes of retribution, rather than calmly for purposes of correction, can create anger and resentment in a child. Actually, a spanking can break the escalating rage of a rebellious child and more quickly restore the relationship between parent and child.
Argument #6: Spanking teaches a child that "might makes right," that power and strength are most important and that the biggest can force their will upon the smallest.
Counterpoint: Parental power is commonly exerted in routine child rearing and spanking is only one example. Other situations where power and restraint are exercised by the average parent include:
- The young child who insists on running from his parent in a busy mall or parking lot.
- The toddler who refuses to sit in his car seat.
- The young patient who refuses to hold still as a vaccination is administered, or as a laceration is repaired.
Power and control over the child are necessary at times to ensure safety, health and proper behaviour. Classic child rearing studies have shown that some degree of power, assertion13, and firm control14 is essential for optimal child rearing. When power is exerted in the context of love and for the child's benefit, the child will not perceive it as bullying or demeaning.
Distinguishing Spanking from Abuse
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 inappropriate corporal punishment.
Spanking is one of many disciplinary responses available to parents intended to shape appropriate behaviour in the developing toddler and child. It is an adjunctive corrective measure, to be used in combination with primary responses such as restraint, natural and logical consequences, time-out, and restriction of privileges.
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 behaviour that is not remedied with milder measures. It is most useful with toddlers and pre-schoolers from 18 months to 6 years of age, when reasoning is less persuasive.
Moreover, child development experts say that spanking should always be a planned action by a parent, not an impulsive reaction to misbehaviour. The child should be forewarned of the spanking consequence for each of the designated problem behaviours. Spanking should always be administered in private. It should consist of one or two spanks to the child's buttocks, followed by a calm review of the offense and the desired behaviour.
Spanking: One or two spanks to the buttocks
Beating: To strike repeatedly (also kick, punch, choke)
Training: To correct problem behaviour
Violence: Physical force intended to injure or abuse
With love and concern
With anger and malice
Emotional and physical injury
Argument #7:Spanking is violence.
Counterpoint: Spanking, as recommended by most primary care physicians15, is not violence by definition ("exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse").16 Parents who properly spank do not injure or abuse their child.
The use of this term "violence" in the spanking debate only serves to deepen the confusion. Why do anti-spanking authors repeatedly fail to distinguish between abusive violence and mild spanking? The distinction is so fundamental and obvious that its omission suggests that these authors use such terminology for its propaganda value, not to clarify issues.
Argument #8:Spanking is an ineffective solution to misbehaviour.
Counterpoint: 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 misbehaviour recurrences with preschool children.17 In clinical field trials where parental spanking has been studied, it has consistently been found to reduce the subsequent frequency of noncompliance with time-out.18 Spanking, as an effective enforcer of time-out, is a component of several well-researched parent training programmes19 and popular parenting texts.20
Dr Diana Baumrind of the Institute for Human Development at the University of California-Berkeley, conducted a decade-long study of families with children 3 to 9 years old.21 Baumrind found that parents employing a balanced disciplinary style of firm control (including spanking) and positive encouragement experienced the most favourable outcome in their children. Parents taking extreme approaches to discipline (authoritarian-types using excessive punishment with less encouragement or permissive-types using little punishment and no spanking) were less successful.
Baumrind concluded that evidence from this study "did not indicate that negative reinforcement or corporal punishment per se were harmful or ineffective procedures, but rather the total patterns of parental control determined the effects on the child of these procedures."
This approach of balanced parenting, employing the occasional use of spanking, is advocated by several child rearing experts.22 In the hands of loving parents, a spanking to the buttocks of a defiant toddler in appropriate settings is a powerful motivator to correct behaviour and an effective deterrent to disobedience.
Argument #9:Adults who were spanked as children are at risk for using violence as a means of resolving conflicts as adults.
Counterpoint: This theory comes from work done by Murray Straus of the Family Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire. Straus' conclusions are based upon theoretical models and survey results of adults recalling spankings as teenagers. His work is not clinical research, and many experts believe that his conclusions go far beyond his data. As with most of Straus' survey research, teenage spanking is the focus, not the selective use of spanking of young children by reasonable parents. The evidence for his conclusion disappears when parental spanking is measured between the ages of 2 and 8 years, and when childhood aggression is measured at a later age.
In a 1994 review article on corporal punishment, Dr Robert E. Larzelere, a director of research at Boys Town, Nebraska, presents evidence supporting a parent's selective use of spanking of children, particularly those 2 to 6 years old.23 After thoroughly reviewing the literature, Larzelere concludes that any association between spanking and antisocial aggressiveness in children is insignificant and artificial.
After a decade of longitudinal study of children beginning in third grade, Dr Leonard Eron found no association between punishment (including spanking) and later aggression. Eron, a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, concluded, "Upon follow-up 10 years after the original data collection, we found that punishment of aggressive acts at the earlier age was no longer related to current aggression, and instead, other variables like parental nurturance and children's identification with their parents were more important in predicting later aggression."24
Again, it is the total pattern of parenting that determines the outcome of a parent's efforts.
Argument #10:Spanking leads a parent to use harmful forms of corporal punishment which lead to physical child abuse.
Counterpoint: The abuse potential when loving parents use appropriate disciplinary spanking is very low. Since parents have a natural affection for their children, they are more prone to underutilize spanking than to overutilise it. Both empirical data and professional opinion oppose the concept of a causal relationship between spanking and child abuse.
Surveys indicate that 70 to 90 percent of parents of pre-schoolers use spanking25, yet the incidence of physical child abuse in America is only about 5 percent. Statistically, the two practices are far apart. Furthermore, over the past decade reports of child abuse have steadily risen while approval for parental spanking has steadily declined.26
Teaching parents appropriate spanking may actually reduce child abuse, according to Larzelere, in his 1994 review article on corporal punishment.28 Parents who are ill-equipped to control their child's behaviour, or who take a more permissive approach (refusing to use spanking), may be more prone to anger29 and explosive attacks on their child.30
Parental child abuse is an interactive process involving parental competence, parental and child temperaments, and situational demands.31 Abusive parents are more angry, depressed and impulsive, and emphasize punishment as the predominant means of discipline. Abused children are more aggressive and less compliant than children from non-abusive families. There is less interaction between family members in abusive families and abusive mothers display more negative than positive behaviour. The aetiology of abusive parenting is multifactorial with emphasis on the personalities involved, and cannot be simply explained by a parent's use of spanking.
In a letter to the editor in a 1995 issue of Paediatrics, Drs. Lawrence S. Wissow and Debra Roter of Johns Hopkins University's paediatrics department acknowledge that a definitive link between spanking and child abuse has yet to be established.32
Finally, the Swedish experiment to reduce child abuse by banning spanking seems to be failing. In 1980, one year after this ban was adopted, the rate of child beatings was twice that of the United States.33 According to a 1995 report from the government organization Statistics Sweden, police reports of child abuse by family members rose four-fold from 1984 to 1994, while reports of teen violence increased nearly six-fold.34
Most experts agree that spanking and child abuse are not on the same continuum, but are very different entities. With parenting, it is the "user" and how a measure is used much more than the measure used that determines the outcome of the disciplinary effort. Clearly, spanking can be safely used in the discipline of young children with an excellent outcome. The proper use of spanking may actually reduce a parent's risk of abusing the child.
Argument #11:Spanking is never necessary.
Counterpoint: All children need a combination of encouragement and correction as they are disciplined to become socially responsible individuals. In order for correction to deter disobedient behaviour, the consequence imposed upon the child must outweigh the pleasure of the disobedient act. For very compliant children, milder forms of correction will suffice and spanking may never be necessary. For more defiant children who refuse to comply with or be persuaded by milder consequences such as time-out, spanking is useful, effective, and appropriate.
The subject of disciplinary spanking should be evaluated from a factual and philosophical perspective. It must be distinguished from abusive, harmful forms of corporal punishment. Appropriate disciplinary spanking can play an important role in optimal child development, and has been found in prospective studies to be a part of the parenting style associated with the best outcomes. There is no evidence that mild spanking is harmful. Indeed, spanking is supported by history, research, and the majority of medical professionals.
We need to ensure that faithful, law-abiding parents who sincerely are trying to raise moral, well-behaved children are protected from the nanny state.
If we are serious about reducing child abuse in South Africa, then a good start would be banning abortion and pornography and reintroducing prayer and Bible reading in schools.
- These were the words used in the Children’s Amendment Bill in 2007, later dropped from the Bill.
- “Child Maltreatment Deaths in Rich Nations”, UNICEF, 2003 and “An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries,” UNICEF, 2007.
- This example is cited in “ A response to the Government's consultation on the physical punishment of children”, The Christian Institute, April 2000, www.christianinstitute.org.ukand was compiled from various UK news reports: The Independent 20 May 1999, The Daily Telegraph 20 May 1999, The Daily Telegraph 10 June 1999, The Mirror 20 May 1999; The Daily Telegraph 10 June 1999, The Daily Telegraph 10 June 1999, The Herald 3 July 1999; The Daily Record 21 August 1999; Personal communication with Mr F, The Daily Record 21 August 1999; Personal communication with Mr F, The Guardian 20 May 1999, The Daily Record 21 August 1999.
- Fathman, Dr. Robert E. "Corporal Punishment Fact Sheet." July 1994.
- Lyons, Dr. John S., Anderson, Rachel L., and Larson, Dr. David B., memo.
- Voter/Consumer Research Poll, National Values. Commissioned by the Family Research Council, 1994.
- "School Poll." The Washington Times. Aug. 28, 1995, p. A-2.
- Flynn, Clifton P. "Regional Differences in Attitudes Toward Corporal Punishment." Journal of Marriage and the Family. 56 (May 1994): 314-324.
- Lyons, Dr. John S., Anderson, Rachel L., and Larson, Dr. David B. "The Use and Effects of Physical Punishment in the Home: A Systematic Review." Presentation to the Section on Bio-Ethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics at annual meeting, Nov. 2, 1993.
- Simons, Ronald L., Johnson, Christine, and Conger, Rand D. "Harsh Corporal Punishment versus Quality of Parental Involvement as an Explanation of Adolescent Maladjustment." Journal of Marriage and Family. 1994; 56:591-607.
- Olweus, Dan. "Familial and Tempermental Determinants of Aggressive Behaviour in Adolescent Boys: A Causal Analysis." Developmental Psychology. 1980; 16:644-660.
- Socolar, Rebecca R. S., M.D. and Stein, Ruth E.K., M.D. "Spanking Infants and Toddlers: Maternal Belief and Practice." Pediatrics. 1995; 95:105-111.
- Hoffman, Martin. "Parental Discipline and Child's Moral Development." Journal of Personal Social Psychology. 1967; 5:45-57.
- Baumrind, Diana, Ph.D. "Rearing Competent Children." Damon, W. (Ed.) Child Development Today and Tomorrow. 1989; pp.349-378. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
- McCormick, Kenelm F., M.D. "Attitudes of Primary Care Physicians Toward Corporal Punishment." Journal of the American Medical Association. 1992; 267:3161-3165.
- Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 1987; p. 1316. Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
- Larzelere, Dr. Robert E. and Merenda, Dr. J.A. "The Effectiveness of Parental Discipline for Toddler Misbehavior at Different Levels of Child Distress." Family Relations. 1994; 43 (4).
- Roberts, Mark W. and Powers, Scott W. "Adjusting Chair Time-out Enforcement Procedures for Oppositional Children." Behavioral Therapy. 1990; 21:257-271, and Bean, Arthur W. and Roberts, Mark W. "The Effect of Time-out Release Contingencies on Changes in Child Noncompliance." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 1981; 9:95-105.
- Forehand, R.L. and McMahon, R.J. Helping the Noncompliant Child. 1981; pp. 79-80. New York: Guilford Press.
- Clark, Lynn C. SOS! Help for Parents. 1985; pp. 181-185. Kentucky: Parents Press.
- Baumrind, Dr. Diana. "The Development of Instrumental Competence Through Socialization. Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology. 1973; 7:3-46.
- Austin, Glenn. Love and Power: How to Raise Competent, Confident Children. 1988. California: Robert Erdmann Publishing. Also, Dobson, Dr. James. The Strong-Willed Child. 1985. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, and Coopersmith, Stanley. The Antecedents of Self-Esteem. 1967. New York: W.H. Freeman & Co. Reprinted 1981. California: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
- Larzelere, Dr. Robert E. "Should the Use of Corporal Punishment by Parents be Considered Child Abuse?" Mason, M., Gambrill, E. (Eds.) Debating Children's Lives. 1994; pp. 204-209. California: SAGE Publications.
- Eron, Dr. Leonard D. "Theories of Aggression: From Drives to Cognitions." Huesmann, L.R. (Ed.) Aggressive Behavior, Current Perspectives. 1994; pp. 3-11. New York: Plenum Press.
- Straus, Murray A. "Discipline and Deviance: Physical Punishment of Children and Violence and Other Crime in Adulthood." Social Problems. 1991; 38:133-152.
- National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. Memorandum. May 1995; 2(5).
- White, Kristin. "Where Pediatricians Stand on Spanking." Pediatric Management. September 1993: 11-15.
- Larzelere, Dr. Robert E., op. cit.
- Socolar, Rebecca R.S., M.D. and Stein, Ruth E.K., M.D., op. cit.
- Baumrind, Dr. Diana, op. cit.
- Wolfe, David A. "Child-Abusive Parents: An Empirical Review and Analysis." Psychological Bulletin. 1985; 97(3): 462-482.
- Wissow, Dr. Lawrence S. and Roter, Dr. Debra. Letter to the editor, in reply to corporal punishment letter. Pediatrics. 1995; 96(4): 794-795.
- Larzelere, Dr. Robert E., op. cit.
- Statistics Sweden. K R Info. May 1995; pp. 1-6. Stockholm, Sweden.