UTMB study: Spanking may worsen behavior problems

Alicia Farmer
December 6, 2017

Almost 20 percent of the participants admitted they had committed physical dating violence, and 68 percent of those reported being spanked, slapped, or hit with a physical object as kids. "While we can't say that spanking causes later violence, it follows that if a kid learns that physical punishment is a way to solve conflict, he/she may carry that over into conflicts with later intimate partners". The abuse seemed to take hold more if the punishment was from a parent or someone they admired. They asked them about their childhood experiences, physical abuse and their current experiences with dating violence. Nineteen percent said yes.

"There's a tendency for adults who have been spanked to say 'I turned out just fine, '" Temple said, and noted that those adults continue the cycle of physical discipline in their own children.

According to UTMB researchers, about 80 percent of children are physically punished worldwide.

Of course, this new study is limited in that it examined a group of less than 1,000 people, and all participants were from Texas.

Parents who spank their kids could make them confer all the more "dating violence" later on, as indicated by a Tuesday ponder distributed in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Other researchers have found evidence that corporal punishment can be beneficial, however.

"Common sense and scientific research both tell us that children learn from their parents", Temple continued.

"They might see that as an OK way to resolve conflicts in their adolescent relationships or their adult relationships", said Temple.

A new study done right here in Houston says spanking can have negative long-term effects.

"Analysis of the study results showed a significant positive association between corporal punishment and physical dating violence perpetration, even after controlling for several demographic variables and childhood physical abuse", the study's authors reported.

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