We got some answers from people who should know including Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Helen Brinkman who specializes in crimes against kids; Susan Powers who is a therapist with the Children's Assessment Center where children who are victims of crimes are taken to be interviewed by staff trained in child psychology; and Grand Rapids Police Detective Dan Adams, a member of the department's major crimes unit.Helen Brinkman says: There is no law against spanking a child or using, what the law calls, "reasonable discipline.” Parents have the right to use corporal punishment. The old doctrine of spare the rod, spoil the child has not been criminalized, as some people believe. Dan Adams agrees that there is no “one size fits all” method to the decision. As with many crimes, the scenario presented is often taken on a case by case basis.
Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do," said Andrew Grogan-Kaylor of the University of Michigan School of Social Work, who worked on the study.
That the use of physical punishment to discipline kids is a heated topic goes without saying.
Over the last 20 years, many countries have passed laws to protect children from physical punishment in school and elsewhere, but the research shows that many parents still use it to discipline their kids.
Imaging studies have also shown some important changes in the brains of children who were punished physically.
Decreases in the gray matter of the brain have been seen in regions connected to IQ.
They wanted to see if the time-honored practice really works as well as people believe it does.