The University of Texas at Austin reports that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties. The conclusion is drawn from an analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by UT and the University of Michigan. The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology and included more than 160 thousand children.
Elizabeth Gershoff, an associated professor at UT says “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.” Gershoff observed that the more a parent was spanked, the more likely they were to support physical punishment for their own children.
Eighty percent of parents around the world spank their children according to a 2014 UNICEF report. Gershoff notes that this persistence of spanking is in spite of the fact that there is no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking and ample evidence that it poses a risk of harm to children’s behavior and development.
Gershoff says that she hopes the study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline.
Our Note: We would be interested in your feedback. If you were spanked as a child (adult spanking exempted here) how did it affect your behavior at the time and did you experience psychologically negative long-term affects from the activity.
Disclaimer: Please note: The editorial content of this page is in no way intended to be professional advice. It should be considered informational and a venue for entertainment purposes. Read and utilize at your own discretion. Content may not be published without the expressed consent of Associated Billing Center, LLC