MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Young children raised in a household where one or both parents are aggressive or violent toward each other are more likely to be spanked, new research shows.
The study found that 65 percent of 3-year-olds were spanked at least once in the previous month, and in families that reported parental aggression toward another parent, the use of corporal punishment along with aggression or violence against another parent occurred in one out of two homes.
"The purpose of the study was to better understand patterns of common aggression and violence in families between parents and also parents' use of spanking with 3-year-olds," said study author Catherine Taylor, an assistant professor of community health sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
"The children who had the highest chance of being spanked had parents who were aggressive or violent to each other, and there was a greater chance of being spanked by the victim of the partner aggression," said Taylor.
Results of the study were published online Aug. 23 and will appear in the September print issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Taylor pointed out that unlike some other studies that have been done on parental aggression and violence and the use of corporal punishment, this study focused on what some might consider more minor aggressive behaviors between parents, rather than violent domestic abuse.
"The kind of aggression we're talking about is fairly common psychological aggression and controlling behaviors -- doing things like preventing someone from seeing friends or family or withholding or taking money, or insulting and criticizing the partner," she said.
The study included nearly 2,000 families with a 3-year-old child. The families were from large cities across the United States. About 37 percent of the family members were bla
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