The researchers used data from a nationally representative sample of over 11,000 children gathered in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study’s Kindergarten Cohort of 1998-1999. Children included in the study were from one of four racial groups: White/Non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Black/Non-Hispanic, and Asian. Using data from both kindergarten and third grade for the students, they collected information on spanking, child externalizing behaviors (e.g., arguing and fighting), and parent background (e.g., family income-to-needs, parent education, marital status, and employment status).
Since then, the attack on parents appears to be relentless. Our media outlets are filled with misinterpretations (and sometimes accurate interpretations) of research findings and statements by clinicians that directly or indirectly blame parental behaviors for their kids’ problems.