Does Spanking Cause Detrimental Effects to a Child’s Long Term Health?

Patti MayonnaiseApril 28, 2016579 Views
Photo Credit: CPSDefense.com Photo Credit: CPSDefense.com

The debate over spankings and their effectiveness or even appropriateness as a tool in a parent’s disciplinary storage box has been heating up for decades. However, according to the latest meta-analysis recorded over 50 years of solid research, the method holds much more than just psychological effects for our children. Researchers propose that parents may ultimately pay a hefty price for their discipline strategy in the future.

Though measuring these effects proved quite complicated due to the variety of hard rooted opinions, it’s important to note that spanking is typically accompanied by a number of other types of physical punishment. Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff with The University of Texas at Austin incorporated all of these factors into her studies to determine the true effects on a total of 160,927 children.

 

Photo Courtesy of JimmyAkin.com

Photo Courtesy of JimmyAkin.com

 

 

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” Dr. Gershoff stated. Keep in mind that spanking was declared in this case to be an open-handed slap to the bottom or limbs.

Gershoff went on to say, “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.”

 

Image via PsychologyToday.com

Image via PsychologyToday.com

 

 

Adults who were punished in this manner as children were more likely to suffer with mental health disorders and even develop anti-social behaviors. However, the study did indicate that the frequency of the spankings was a definite indicator as to the severity of potential detriment.

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,” says Dr. Gershoff.

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