Shawna Lee

Shawna LeeSpanking is back in the news since a child abuse charge was brought against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for disciplining his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. Evidence has been mounting that spanking is counterproductive and can even alter the brain chemistry of children, according to a Sept. 17 article in the Detroit Free Press. Nevertheless, ISR researcher Shawna Lee told the Free Press, about two out of three American parents spank their children, with 30 percent of parents spanking kids as young as age 1, according to her research. “It’s troubling because it’s viewed as harmless, and it’s viewed as discipline,” said Lee. “People say, ‘My mom did it and I turned out OK.’ Most of us were spanked as kids… But what we should be telling parents is to use other strategies and not to spank. What we would consider normal discipline in a moment of anger or frustration can become excessive pretty easily.”