The best questions to ask in a survey about spanking children include questions from both perspectives of spanking, both for and against. The first question could be, "Do you use spanking as a form of punishment?" From there, questions can diverge to explore the reasoning and methods of each parent's chosen style of discipline.
Proponents of spanking are quick to point out that they see a distinct difference between spanking and hitting, while opponents of spanking typically see them as the same. Regardless of a parent's choice to use corporal punishment (spanking) or not, both sides of the debate agree that hitting a child is inexcusable and a crime. Spanking has a limited amount of time in which proponents claim that it works. Most sources agree that other forms of punishment are more effective by the time a child reaches between 8 and 10 years old.
Opponents of spanking cite numerous articles and research showing the negative effects of spanking. The definition of spanking used in many of the articles opposed to spanking refers to the parent spanking at the moment of infraction. Proponents of spanking advocate a more controlled delivery of spanking, which they say should never be at the moment of infraction but only when the child has a clear understanding of the reason for the punishment. Both sides of the argument acknowledge the existence of other effective methods of punishment.
Ultimately, the type of discipline most effective for any given child is highly dependent upon the child's personality. Even at an early age, children respond to different forms of punishment differently.