ScienceDaily (Aug. 3, 2012) — Parents get physical with their misbehaving children in public much more than they show in laboratory experiments and acknowledge in surveys, according to one of the first real-world studies of caregiver discipline.
The study, led by Michigan State University's Kathy Stansbury, found that 23 percent of youngsters received some type of "negative touch" when they failed to comply with a parental request in public places such as restaurants and parks. Negative touch included arm pulling, pinching, slapping and spanking.
"I was very surprised to see what many people consider a socially undesirable behavior done by nearly a quarter of the caregivers," Stansbury said. "I have also seen hundreds of kids and their parents in a lab setting and never once witnessed any of this behavior."
Stansbury is a trained psychologist and associate professor in MSU's Department of Human Development and Family Studies. With the study, she wanted to get a realistic gauge of how often parents use what she calls positive and negative touch in noncompliance episodes with their children, in a real-world natural setting, outside the laboratory.
1. i have seen it myself. I usually try to gauge my kids tiredness
and how they are acting before I take them to a restaurant or the store. Sometimes I have no choice and have to take them to the store. It's very frustrating to say the least. But I do try to remember, especially if it is in the evening or they are really over stimulated or tired to begin with that I can generally expect this to happen.