The Primordial Violence: Spanking Children, Psychological Development, Violence, and Crime
Why do parents hit those they love? What effect does it have on children? What can be done to end this pattern? These are some of the questions explored in The Primordial Violence. Featuring data from over 7,000 U.S. families as well as results from a 32-nation study, the book presents the latest research on the extent to which spanking is used in different cultures and the subsequent effects of its use on children and on society. It presents longitudinal data showing that spanking is associated with subsequent slowing of cognitive development and increase in antisocial and criminal behavior. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies are explored in an accessible fashion. An abundance of high quality research has produced findings that are highly consistent from study to study, which show that spanking is a risk factor for aggressive behavior and other social and psychological problems. Because of these findings, the authors argue for policy changes and recommend never spanking. Policy and practical implications are explored in most chapters. The Primordial Violence highlights are the benefits of avoiding spanking such as the development of better interpersonal skills and higher academic achievement, the link between spanking and behavioral problems and crime, and the extent to which spanking is declining and why, despite the unusually high level of agreement between numerous studies that found harmful effects from spanking, most parents continue to spank.
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Straus, M.A., Douglas, E.M., Medeiros, R.A. (2014). The Primordial Violence: Spanking Children, Psychological Development, Violence, and Crime. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.