Brenner Children’s Hospital Pediatrician Looking at Ways to Address Discipline

May 17, 2005

Parent’s upbringing plays a large role in how they decide to discipline their own children, according to new research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Results from a survey of 2,100 parents nationwide were presented today at the Pediatric Academic Society annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Shari Barkin, M.D., a pediatrician at Wake Forest Baptist’s Brenner Children’s Hospital, and her colleagues completed research asking 2,100 parents across the country about their current discipline strategies and what influenced their choices for their preadolescent children in a survey. The results showed that 42 percent of parents used time-outs, 41 percent removed privileges, 13 percent used yelling and 9 percent used spanking to discipline their children.

In the survey, parents were also asked to report the type of discipline used most when they were children. The results included: removal of privileges (31 percent), yelling (22 percent), being sent to their room (19 percent), and spanking (17 percent). Time-outs were rarely used -- only five percent of the time.

The study results show that age of the child was important in the choice of discipline strategy. “Not surprisingly, parents reported using spanking and time-outs more in younger children and taking away privileges, yelling and restriction to their rooms for older children,” she said. The research also confirmed that how you were raised plays a big role in how you choose to discipline your own children.

“Interestingly, only 60 percent of parents felt their discipline strategies were effective, and that means pediatricians have an opportunity to talk with parents on this important issue,” she said. “Discipline is a vital part of good parenting; teaching children appropriate behaviors, limits, and consequences for their actions. This helps them maneuver their way through life."

The survey was conducted by the Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) network and surveyed 2,100 parents with children ages two to 11 in 27 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Brenner Children’s Hospital is part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.


Media Contacts: Rae Bush (336) 716-6878,; Shannon Koontz (336) 716-2415,; or Karen Richardson (336) 716-4453,

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Brenner Children’s Hospital. It is licensed to operate 1,187 acute care, rehabilitation, psychiatry and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report. Brenner Children’s was named one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation by Child magazine.

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