Spanking children is one of the most common disciplinary methods that parents follow in order to change their child or children’s behavior, but a new study claims that it actually does more harm than good.
New research on spanking was conducted at the University of Texas and University of Michigan that involved over 160,000 children as its sample population. It was later published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
According to the new study, which analyzed 50 years of research on the matter, it was concluded that the more children are spanked, the more the chances that they will listen less to their parents. They are also more likely to grow up with a number of issues such as aggressive behavior as well as intellectual and mental health problems.
Most parents simply want to discipline their children through spanking. However, the study claims their analysis shows that a large number of Americans do not realize that spanking is a potentially abusive behavior.
Parents have been spanking children for millennia. Here’s why they were wrong. https://t.co/X8gEK9mwf1
— Vox (@voxdotcom) April 27, 2016
Professor Elizabeth Gershoff of the University of Texas at Austin said in one part of the research, “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which is parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”
Professor Elizabeth Gershoff also said that society thinks of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors, but their study showed that the two practices have links. Spanking, however, has fewer negative effects as opposed to physical abuse, although the difference is small with regard to the impact it makes on a person’s behavior later in life.
Many people think that this is no longer a widespread practice, but the research study claims that 80 percent of parents worldwide still spank their children. This is based on recorded information from a 2014 United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report. Spanking has been defined by Professor Elizabeth Gershoff and co-author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor as “open-handed hitting of one’s behind and extremities.”
— WPXI (@WPXI) April 27, 2016
A survey in 2002 also showed that nearly 80 percent of U.S. preschoolers were spanked while a 2013 poll revealed that 81 percent of Americans think that spanking is appropriate. The pope also said in a statement in the past that he believes that physically disciplining a child is okay as long as they are not being hit in the face and they “still have their dignity.”
Andrew Grogan-Kaylor also shared, “The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children. Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do.”
There is no proof and evidence claiming that physically punishing has positive effects, but the latest study on the matter has substantial evidence on the harm it does to the development of children, especially when it comes to their behavior.
— UPI.com (@UPI) April 26, 2016
One of the long-term effects of spanking is that children who are frequently spanked tend to be more anti-social. Spanking also could lead to psychological issues. When frequently spanked children grow up and have children of their own, they are also most likely to apply physical punishment on their kids.
In the United States, there has been a slight decline in the few past years in the number of parents who spank their children. Also, there is a global movement to ban corporal punishment.
The two professors who penned the study on spanking called for parents to educate themselves regarding the potential harm presented by this method. They also said that parents should try positive and non-punitive forms of disciplining their children.
[Image via Pixabay]