Analysis of Life Span Development Textbook

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Alex Kurz
Fricano
Psych 240-A
24 April 2013
Analysis of the Accuracy of a Textbook
This paper will discuss the accuracy in textbooks. Everyone believes what they read in a school text book is real, but that is simply not the case. In the textbook Life-Span Human Development by Carol Sigelman and Elizabeth Rider, it was found that not all what you read is true. The first instance of this is in accordance to physical punishment. The book begins by describing how Skinner did not believe in physical punishment but positive reinforcement. The text then goes into a study done by a website called Child Trends Databank saying how parents believe that physical punishment like spanking actually helps the child learn (Sigelman and Rider 44). This section is interesting because it is not likely that most people are in favor of physically punishing a child. In truth, most people would be against spanking. After over looking the study done by Child Trends Databank, what is written in the textbook is not exactly what the article is trying to convey. First off, the article is not even for corporal punishment. It is in fact in favor of Skinners point of view. The textbook states that, according to the article “in a 2004 national survey, 77% of men and 69% of women that sometimes a child needs ‘a good hard spanking’” (Sigelman and Rider 44). But the article did not say that at all. The article says “In 2010, according to a nationally representative survey, 75 percent of men, and 64 percent of women 18 to 65 years old agreed that a child sometimes needs a “good hard spanking” (Child Trends Database). These numbers are completely different and the study was done at a completely different time. Also, this article does not even agree with what the book says. The book is trying to say that people do believe that spanking is good, when in fact the article states “use of corporal punishment is linked to negative outcomes for children” (Child Trends Databank). Therefore, this fact is completely false and should not have been put in this section of the book. Surprisingly, the next quote the textbook used from the article was true. The textbook states that according to the study, “more than 90% of parents of children 3 to 4 year olds had spanked their child in the previous year” (Sigelman and Rider 44). This according to the article was in fact true. This quote actually agrees with what the book is saying. The book is saying that physical punishment will make children comply. But, this article is not trying to establish that with its audience. They are trying to enforce that physical punishment will lead to problems later in your child’s life. They say that spanking in the long run can cause delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, and even antisocial disorder. Though the first quote was not very reliable, this article does actually seem to support the textbook. However, this article is not at all trying to say they condone physical punishment. The article states that “Positive child outcomes are more likely when parents refrain from using spanking and other physical punishment, and instead discipline their children through communication that is firm, reasoned, and nurturing” (Childs Trends Databank). The article then goes on to show percentages of people that believe spanking is sometimes necessary. Though the percentages of people still seem high (75% of males, 64% female), the article is showing that over time less people are starting to believe this to be true. In accordance the article states that between 1986 and 2010 the percentage of women dropped 22 percent and the men 10 percent. This does support the text because over half of the men and women surveyed believe that children sometimes do deserve a “good hard spanking.” Therefore, though accuracy was not 100 percent, the article did supply the authors and editors of the textbook with some good information to make their claim. The next portion that seemed...
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