Use of spanking exacerbates aggressive child behavior

December 10, 2013 by Jared Wadley, University of Michigan
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: Kids still spanked, to their detriment, study finds

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.

Don't spank or scream: Tips for taming unruly kids

June 10, 2011
Do you ever swat your child on the behind? Let’s hope not. Over the past few decades, numerous studies have concluded that spanking isn’t the best or most effective way to discipline a child successfully.

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

September 4, 2012
To promote good parenting, Canada should remove section 43 of its Criminal Code because it sends the wrong message that using physical punishment to discipline children is acceptable, argues Dr. John Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, ...

Recommended for you

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

Study listens in on speech development in early childhood

January 15, 2018
If you've ever listened in on two toddlers at play, you might have wondered how much of their babbling might get lost in translation. A new study from the University of Toronto provides surprising insights into how much children ...

Study suggests people dislike you more for humblebragging than for regular boasting

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers from Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted a study regarding humblebragging—in which a person boasts about an achievement but tries to make it sound less boastful by minimizing it—and ...

Study identifies brain circuit controlling social behavior

January 11, 2018
A new study by researchers at Roche in Basel, Switzerland has identified a key brain region of the neural circuit that controls social behavior. Increasing the activity of this region, called the habenula, led to social problems ...

Can writing your 'to-do's' help you to doze? Study suggests jotting down tasks can speed the trip to dreamland

January 11, 2018
Writing a "to-do" list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a Baylor University study. Research compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants ...

Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets have no impact on overall opioid use

January 11, 2018
The introduction of tamper-resistant opioid tablets does not have an effect on rates of opioid use or harms at a population level, according to a new study led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW ...

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.