II. Definition

  1. Physical punishment in response to undesirable behavior

III. Precautions

  1. Physical punishment is not recommended by AAP
  2. Spanking may escalate into physical abuse
  3. Other forms of Discipline are preferred
  4. Spanking is inappropriate under age 18 months
  5. Never strike child with object
  6. Never use enough force to leave lasting skin mark
  7. Never jerk a child's arms, pull hair or shake a child
  8. Never deliver punishment with anger and intent of pain

IV. Technique: Spanking

  1. Open hand strikes buttocks or extremities
  2. Goal: modify behavior without inflicting injury

V. Efficacy: Spanking

  1. Less effective than Time-Out or Removal of Privileges
  2. May be effective in short-term
  3. Loses effect with continued use
    1. Maintaining effect would require increasing intensity
    2. Risk of escalating to physical abuse

VI. Adverse effects

  1. Risk of injury to child (especially <18 months)
  2. May foster aggressive behavior by child
  3. Promotes adversarial relationship with child
  4. Renders Time-Out less effective and more difficult

VII. Resources

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