TODAY   |  October 25, 2013

Survey suggests spanking leads to aggression                          

Kathie Lee and Hoda discuss the best ways to discipline children with researcher Michael Mackenzie after a new study suggests that children who are spanked early could become aggressive.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this friday asking the age-old question to spank or not to spank. a new study suggests children who are spanked early in life can develop aggression and behavior problems. that's what the study says.

>> yeah, but not everyone agrees. take a look.

>> i certainly was and i deserved it when i got spanked.

>> i was never spanked as a child . i don't believe in spanking . i never spanked my own children.

>> let's put it this way, i think i was spanked a couple times and after that i learned the lesson quickly.

>> occasionally i was spanked as a child . i think it had the use at the time. i'm not sure it was appropriate all the time.

>> no. it didn't work for my kids. and it just -- it's not effective at all.

>> i think in rare cases acting is better than words. and in certain situations, one good crack across the butt probably speaks 1,000 words.

>> all righty then. michael mckenzie .

>> it is a generational thing.

>> michael mckensy is a researcher on that study. and dr. iva horn is a pediatrician. welcome.

>> welcome.

>> tell us a little bit about this study. what is it showing exactly?

>> the three big take homes to the study, the first thing that surprised a lot of people is this wide belief that spanking is rare. no one spanks their kids anymore. we find that spanking rates have not dropped off. half the parents were spanking kids at age 5, at least once a week in the past month.

>> we should define what spanking is. it's very different from beating your child .

>> it s people have their own definition of what they include in that category. we were talking about a hand on the buttocks. zbh and it shows later on the kids get aggress sflif.

>> yeah, we found children that experienced high levels of spanking defined as more than, you know, two or more times a week showed lower verbal capacity at age 9 and more aggression.

>> dr. horn, do you think there are certain behaviors that require a parent or parent should think about spanking their child ?

>> i don't think there is a behavior that requires a parent to consider spanking . i don't want parents -- if i say to parents absolutely if you tell me you're spanking then we have a problem. then they won't come to me when there is really an issue.

>> right.

>> as a pediatrician, i want them to have that conversation to talk about this thing that is underlying why they feel like they have to spank their child . therein lies the problem and the concern. what's going on with this parent and the parent- child dynamic that the parent feels like they need to spank their child .

>> this is about frequency though f you're doing it every other day, there is an issue. if you do it every now and then when there's a big problem, that's different.

>> a lot of parents are using this not as a backup tool but as their go-to method. this is what they use and rely on exclusively.

>> but more and more we're living in a world where we're letting television raise our children or video games raise our children, technology. we have become a post human society. we're more comfortable with machine thanksgiving hus than human beings . is that part of the problem? kids so much aggressiveness in the media? i certainly had as a child growing up. could that be part of what is going on here?

>> i think what we're really talking about here is the aggression that kids see with their parents and their interaction with parents. and then that leading to aggressive behavior in the future.

>> one of you said that you didn't think that time-outs work either. so what do you do with a small child ?

>> like don't he'd the tide.

>> this is where families dismiss. they see the other academics who don't get what it's like in the trenches with the kids. and they dismiss it. people don't interpret what happened to them as abuse. so when people are say this is abuse, they tune it out. the reality is that no one spends a lot of time work with a kid say can you reason or negotiate.

>> it's impossible.

>> what should do you?

>> sometimes you need to remove the child from the situation. and sometimes you need to remove yourself as a parent from the situation. identify when that needs to occur. parents need time out. sometimes we need a time out. and sometimes the kids do need a time out so they can take a breath and recognize what their behavior is and what the reaction is. when kids are really young, they don't -- they get that disconnect. it doesn't click for them quite yet.

>> what they need is love. a lot, a lot, a lot of love. they need discipline too. thank you very