UNH News Release: Corporal Punishment Expert Available To Discuss Proposed Spanking Legislation in Kansas
February 20, 2014
Corporal Punishment Expert Available To Discuss Proposed Spanking Legislation in Kansas

DURHAM, N.H. -- Murray Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory and professor emeritus of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, is available to discuss Kansas legislation that would give school teachers and caregivers expanded rights to spank children. He can be reached at 603-862-2594 or by email at murray.straus@unh.edu.

Widely considered the foremost researcher in his field, Straus has studied spanking by large and representative samples of American parents since 1969. He is the author of “Beating The Devil Out Of Them: Corporal Punishment In American Families And Its Effects On Children” and “The Primordial Violence.”

“Although research on the effectiveness of spanking shows it helps correct misbehavior, we also know that spanking does not work better than other modes of correction, such as time out, explaining, and depriving a child of privileges,” Straus said.

“The research clearly shows the gains from spanking come at a big cost. These included weakening the tie between children and parents, and increasing the probability that the child will hit other children or their parents, and as adults, hit a dating or marital partner. Spanking also slows down mental development and lowers the probability of a child doing well in school,” he said.

“More than 100 studies have detailed these side effects of spanking, with more than 90 percent agreement among them. There is probably no other aspect of parenting and child behavior where the results are so consistent,” he said.

Much of Straus’ research on spanking can be downloaded from http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.



Media Contact: Lori Wright | 603-862-0574 | UNH Media Relations | @unhnews | @unhsocialsci

Secondary Contact: Murray Straus | 603-862-2594 | UNH Family Research Lab
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