Study Says Spanking Kids Could Cause Them To Be Violent in Adult Relationships
The headline on the Journal of Pediatrics website reads "Childhood Corporal Punishment and Future Perpetration of Physical Dating Violence." That will certainly get your attention. The question is, should we believe that spanking children could result in violence in their future relationships or, as another study suggests, better chances of mental health issues?
Let me start with a couple admissions. I got spanked a time or two, or a few, when I was a kid. I vaguely remember it at all. I wasn't tainted for life and did I have it coming? Yes, each and every time. I look back on those times as learning experiences because I tried not to make the same mistake twice. That wouldn't have been real smart, would it? The spankings all happened in the 1970's, a very different time. I'd argue, a better time. Have I been violent toward my wife or any previous girlfriends? Absolutely not. Ok, disclaimer out in the open as you can already tell which side of this fence I'm going to be on.
Study number one, conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, studied the impact of childhood spankings and their impact on the future. The study involved 750 adults, 19 and 20-years-old. They were asked if they'd been punished physically as kids. Sixty-eight percent said "Yes." They were also asked if they had been violent towards their significant others. Nineteen percent said "Yes."
Here's the study's conclusion:
The finding that childhood corporal punishment was associated with perpetration of young adult physical dating violence, even after controlling for several demographic variables and childhood physical abuse, adds to the growing literature demonstrating deleterious outcomes associated with corporal punishment.
KCCI reports another recent study, this one from the University of Michigan, found that children who were punished physically had a greater likelihood of issues with mental health. Specifically, things like depression and anti-social behavior.
Do spankings still occur in the U.S. The answer is obviously, 'yes.' WISN says more than four of every 10 kids in the U.S. was "smacked" or received at least one spanking last year.
Ok, time for you to chime in with your thoughts. Do you think the findings could be accurate?