Spanking Children Makes Them Prone to Mental Disorders
A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that the children who underwent harsh physical punishment such as smacking, spanking and shoving as a tool to instill discipline, showed strong association with mental and personality disorders. These children face higher odds of mental ailments as adults including mood disorders and problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
Prior to this, study done by Dr. Joan Durrant from the University of Manitoba and Ron Ensom of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario showed how spanking and slapping kids had a strong correlation with aggressive behaviour that develops within the individual gradually. But this is one of the first studies to show a link between non abusive physical punishment and several different types of mental disorders even in the absence of child maltreatment.
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In order to proceed with the findings, the researchers examined data from the U.S. that tracked 35,000 individuals under the age of 20 from 2004 to 2005. The findings from this data proved the hypothesis right because the researchers noticed that the children who were spanked were 1.4 times more likely to suffer from depression, 1.98 times more likely to have an antisocial disorder and 2.31 times more likely to have a Schizotypal personality disorder.
Tracie Afifi, lead author and assistant professor of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba said, "While the data doesn't show that spanking causes mental disorders, it does present a statistically significant correlation, the results send a strong message that spanking should never be used on a child."
Whereas some researchers argue that spanking, used properly, can be appropriate discipline. Psychologist Robert Larzelere, of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater said, "Certainly, overly severe physical punishment is going to have adverse effects on children. But for younger kids, if spanking is used in the most appropriate way and the child perceives it as being motivated by concern for their behaviour and welfare, then I don't think it has a detrimental effect."
This study was published in the Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics