Studies Show Spanking Leads to Mental Health Problems

A University of Texas and University of Michigan has conducted a study that says the more a child is spanked, the more likely it is they will develop mental issues.

Associate professor of human development and family sciences, Elizabeth Gershoff says the study involved more than 160,000 children.

“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.”

The study showed adults who were spanked as kids showed anti-social behavior, mental health problems and were more likely to support physical punishment for their own children.

Researchers say this highlighted the attitude that physical punishment is passed from generation to generation.

A UNICEF study in 2014 says s many as 80 percent of parents around the world spank their children.

Gershoff says this is done even though there is no proof that spanking yields positive results.

“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors. Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.”

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