Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science Says

Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science Says

Family & Kids

October 12, 2018 19:13 By Mambee

Raising a child usually means teaching them about boundaries sometimes. You want to show them right from wrong and you want to teach them that actions have consequences. 

Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysChildren Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysMarcel Jancovic / Shutterstock.com

READ ALSO: Studies Show That Spanking Leads To Long-Term Harm In Children

Where did the idea of spanking come from?

Where exactly did the concept of spanking originate from? Some people may point to the books of Proverbs in the bible where it was said that a person who "spared the rod" did not love his child. The concept, however, could have other historical origins such as the slave trade era where a paddle or a strap was used to punish slaves. Also, whipping or "cobbing" has been used in the past to punish adults.

Regardless of where the concept came from, the truth still remains that today, many parents use spanking as a tool to punish, discipline and correct their children.

How dangerous is spanking?

According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, spanking a child makes them more likely to grow up to be violent towards their future partners. 

Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysChildren Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysMaria Symchych / Shutterstock.com

The lead author and a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Jeff Temple, explained that the study gathered information from 758 children between the ages of 19 and 20. They were asked how often they were spanked and/or hit as kids as a form of punishment when they were younger. 

The children who reported having undergone more intense corporal punishment were more likely to have been violent while dating.

Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysChildren Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysAllegations of child abuseanekoho / Shutterstock.com

If you're a parent who believes that as long as you don't leave any marks, spanking is okay, this study is also disproving that.

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Temple stated that regardless of whether the hitting was done as a form of purposeful child abuse or just as a correction tool, spanking on its own was predictive of dating violence.

People's approach to spanking

In countries like the United States, it's not illegal for parents to physically punish their children at home. And many parents still prefer the corporal punishment route. Since 1986, the NORC at the University of Chicago has been asking American parents via a survey if they "strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree that it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking?"

Children Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysChildren Who Are Spanked Are More Likely to Become Violent As Adults, Science SaysChild SpankingLuis Louro / Shutterstock.com

The 2016 data shows that 73.6 % of respondents either strongly agree or agree with that idea.

An article published in the American College of Pediatricians agrees with these respondents. They put out a statement in 2007 saying that disciplinary spanking "can be effective when properly used."

They advised that parents do not need to rely on just spanking to correct their child's behavior, but if all else fails, this can be adopted. They, however, opined that spanking for disciplinary purposes was more effective for children between the ages of 2 and 6.

Do you believe children should be spanked lightly or should corporal punishment be discarded completely? 

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The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.