The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behaviour.
According to meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties..
The study, published in this month’s Journal of Family Psychology, looks at five decades of research involving over 160,000 children.
“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
“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 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,” Grogan-Kaylor says.
“We hope that our study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline,” said Gershoff.
Not really surprising. I think this is something we are all fairly aware of these days.
Getting down to your child’s level and speaking quietly seems to have more of a shock factor than a spanking. Or just take away screen time.
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