I have a feeling that many answers to your question will be influenced by anecdotes and personal parental style than actual research. A quick literature review suggests that there is evidence for both positive and negative influences of customary, nonabusive physical punishment, such as spanking.
A literature review by Larzelere (2000) found that nine studies indicated beneficial outcomes, such as reduced noncompliance and fighting. In contrast, five studies that controlled for the level of child misbehavior did find detrimental outcomes. However, a further analysis found that alternative forms of discipline also showed detrimental outcomes when using a similar research method. The author concludes that "The outcomes differ by methodologic, child, and subcultural factors as well as by how the physical punishment was used".
A later meta-analysis by Larzelere and Kuhn (2005) found that conditional spanking was more effective in reducing child noncompliance and antisocial behavior in 10 of 13 studies. They added that overly severe or predominant use of physical punishment "compared unfavorably with alternative disciplinary tactics". In short, there seems to be a threshold whereas some amount of scolding (physical spanking in this case) can be a beneficial tool in a parent's disciplinary toolkit, while excessive amounts of scolding (such as relying on spanking exclusively) can be detrimental.
- Larzelere RE. (2000). Child Outcomes of Nonabusive and Customary Physical Punishment by Parents: An Updated Literature Review. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 3(4), 199-221.
- Larzelere RE and Kuhn BR. (2005). Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8(1), 1-37.