Leslie Leve of the College of Education

UO professor weighs in on spanking and aggression

When parents spank their children, those children are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors. And when children are disruptive, parents are more likely to resort to harsh discipline. It’s a vicious cycle that is fueled by many factors, according to a recent post on The New York Times’ Well blog.

Leslie Leve, a UO professor of counseling psychology and human services, suggests that genetic predispositions toward aggressive behavior are one of the contributing factors. Leve also cautioned people against equating “genetic” with “not changeable.”

Leve participated in a study that showed just how complex the interactions are between parents and their children. The research demonstrated that while aggressive parental behavior is affected by the child’s behavior, it’s also influenced by the parents’ own temperament, as well as marital and environmental factors.

For the full post, read “The Connections Between Spanking and Aggression”.