Use of spanking exacerbates aggressive child behavior

December 10, 2013 by Jared Wadley
Use of spanking exacerbates aggressive child behavior

A mother's affection after she spanks her child does little to diminish the negative impact of the act, a new University of Michigan study finds.

"There is a common belief that spanking that occurs in a positive parent-child relationship will not be harmful to children," said Shawna Lee, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Social Work.

"We were able to test that belief in this study. Spanking predicted worse, not better, child behavior over time, regardless of how warm mothers were with their children."

Parents use various practices to elicit positive behaviors for children. Despite numerous studies indicating that spanking increases child aggression, parents still continue to use physical punishment at high rates in hopes to see positive behavior, Lee said.

More than 3,200 white, African American and Hispanic families in major cities participated in the study. Data was collected when children were ages 1, 3 and 5. Mothers disclosed how often spanking occurred and reported children's aggressive behavior and their own warmth toward their .

The findings, which appear in the recent issue of Developmental Psychology, reinforce the importance of adults avoiding the use of spanking.

"Use of is ineffective, and only further exacerbates aggressive child behaviors," Lee said.

Explore further: Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children

Related Stories

Kids still spanked, to their detriment, study finds

October 21, 2013

(HealthDay)—Spanking can affect a child's behavior and learning ability for years, with the impact of physical discipline reverberating even as kids near adolescence, a new study suggests.

Recommended for you

Oxytocin enhances spirituality, new study says

September 21, 2016

Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

Study reveals a biological link between stress and obesity

September 21, 2016

Metabolic and anxiety-related disorders both pose a significant healthcare burden, and are in the spotlight of contemporary research and therapeutic efforts. Although intuitively we assume that these two phenomena overlap, ...

Men with anxiety are more likely to die of cancer, study says

September 20, 2016

Men over 40 who are plagued with the omnipresent of generalized anxiety disorder are more than twice as likely to die of cancer than are men who do not have the mental affliction, new research finds. But for women who suffer ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2013
Ask this question of the researchers. Would you publish any study that shows that spanking is beneficial?

You'll Interestingly find the answer is NO.

In other words, all these studies are bunk.

Don't just believe me that these researchers will not publish.... go ask them personally.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.