PS301 University of Maryland – University College to Spank or Not to Spank

To spank, or not to spank – that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of spanking in an attempt to control a child’s behavior or to take arms against this practice which may result in increased aggressive behaviors, and by opposing end them. (Sorry for borrowing bits from Shakespeare – I couldn’t help myself!) In this week’s discussion, you are to do some outside research to learn more about the effects of spanking.

Research the use of spanking as a parenting technique with children. You could choose research that evaluates its usefulness as a parenting technique to control behavior, how it relates to aggressive behavior on the part of the parent, the child, and/or the adult that child will eventually become, or some other related topic that focuses on parental use of spanking with children. Summarize what you’ve learned in your discussion post. The information you cite on this topic can be research-based (i.e., experimental or correlational studies) or not (but it cannot come from Wikipedia). Your report should reference at least two appropriate sources outside of your classroom reading (e.g., journal articles, books, websites – Wikipedia is NOT an appropriate source). Make sure you use appropriate APA-style in-text reference citations when discussing this information. And make sure your posts include the information below.


  • Description: Identify the specific topic related to spanking that you will discuss in your post.
  • Analysis: Using information from your classroom readings and at least two appropriate sources outside of your classroom reading, describe what you’ve learned about this spanking-related topic.
  • Opinion: Overall, do you believe that spanking is a useful parenting technique? Why or why not?
  • Classmate Responses: Make at least two “high level” responses to different classmates. Ideas for responding to classmates: you could include research-based information they did not include, compare and contrast the information you found about spanking with what they report, point out issues with the information they related about these topics, or provide research to argue against their opinions.
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