Spanking Children Increases Likelihood Of Childhood Defiance And Long-Term Mental Issues

April 26, 2016

If you think that the answer to a disobedient child is a good spanking, think again.

After extensive analysis, researchers from the Universities of Texas and Michigan found that this form of punishment only makes children more likely to be defiant and aggressive.

why spanking is wrong science
Credit: Thinkstock

The study, which was published in the April edition of the Journal of Family Psychology, was based on five decades worth of research involving more than 160,000 children. They're calling it the most extensive scientific investigations into the spanking issue.

"Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors," lead author Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas, said in a statement Monday. "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."

In fact, Gershoff and co-author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, found that the more frequently that children are spanked, the higher the risk that those kids will start to defy their parents, become aggressive, experience mental health issues, exhibit anti-social behaviors, and/or develop cognitive difficulties.

As part of their meta-analysis, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor looked at the association between spanking (defined for their study as an open-handed smack of a child’s bottom or extremities) and 17 potential detrimental outcomes. They found a significant link between the punishment and 13 of the 17 outcomes, suggesting that spanking ends up doing more harm than good.

"The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children," said Grogan-Kaylor. "Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do."

Furthermore, they noted that spanking was associated with the same adverse outcomes in children as physical abuse, and both were nearly similar in terms of outcome strength.

"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," explained Gershoff. "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."

Sources: NCBI, UTNews. (h/t) Redorbit

Like us on Facebook!

Click Here For The Most Popular On Sunny Skyz

feel good videoMama Ferret Really Wants Her Human To See Her Babies

feel good storiesWendy's Got Into A Hilarious Sign Battle With Pure Water

feel good stories25 Funny Married Life Memes

feel good storiesDad Stands Over His Daughter During A Public Meltdown. This Is Why He Didn't Stop Her

feel good stories15 Cat Pictures Guaranteed To Make Your Day

feel good storiesMarine Veteran With PTSD Wants To Commit Suicide. After Reading This, He Decides To Keep Fighting

feel good videoMama Ferret Really Wants Her Human To See Her Babies

feel good videoDisabled Former Marine Sees His Grandson In Uniform For The First Time

feel good videoThis Gorilla Dancing In A Bathtub To 'Maniac' Is The Best Thing You'll See Today

feel good videoDad Tries To Eat Surstromming - The Stinkiest Food In The World. This Is Hilarious!

feel good videoThree Men Rescue A Bear Who Had Its Head Stuck In A Bucket For Days