DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A study conducted in North Texas shows that many mothers spank their children, and researchers say many of the reasons for those spankings are relatively minor disciplinary issues.

Dr. George Holden, Psychologist and Professor in the Psychology Department at Southern Methodist University says he initially set out to examine parents who yell at their children.  But early evaluation of audio tapes showed that the parents who admitted yelling at their children also spanked them.

READ MORE – SMU Research: Sounds of corporal punishment

“We’re finding a lot of variability.  Some parents slapped once.  One parent hit the child 11 times in a row” says Holden.

Holden admits he is opposed to any form of corporal punishment and he says virtually all experts say it is not beneficial to spank children.  This study examined parents who have children between the ages of two and five years old.  Holden says this is the first study evaluating spanking in which audio recordings were used to document the events taking place in the home.

In one recording a mother is heard reading to her child.  Holden says the child touches the book and tries to turn the page when the parent slaps the child.  In another recording you hear a mother putting a child to bed and hitting the child.  


Holden says the third recording involves two parents who hit a child who is about to touch a stove that is not turned on.

Holden says he believes any children who are being aggressive with a sibling or a parent should not be spanked.  “Using aggression on the part of the parent to deal with child aggression is just modeling the same type of behavior you don’t want to see” says Holden.