Navigation Links
Spanking Batters Kids' Mental Health: Study

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Spanking or slapping your children may increase the odds that they will develop mental health issues that plague them in adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Canada found that up to 7 percent of a range of mental health disorders were associated with physical punishment, including spanking, shoving, grabbing or hitting, during childhood.

"We're not talking about just a tap on the bum," said study author Tracie Afifi, an assistant professor in the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg. "We were looking at people who used physical punishment as a regular means to discipline their children."

Corporal punishment was associated with increased odds of anxiety and mood disorders, including major depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia and social phobia. Several personality disorders and alcohol and drug abuse were also linked to physical punishment, the researchers found.

"What's really important is to know that spanking and other forms of physical punishment come at a cost," said Afifi. "Physical punishment should not be used on children at any age under any circumstances."

While the study finds an association between physical punishment and mental illness, it does not prove that one causes the other.

Previous studies have linked physical punishment to aggression in children, delinquency and emotional, developmental and behavioral impairment. But this study examined its effects on mental health in the absence of more severe physical abuse, sexual abuse or other forms of neglect and mistreatment.

For the study, published online July 2 in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers used 2004-2005 data on about 34,000 individuals aged 20 or older gathered from the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Participants were questioned face-to-face and asked, on a scale of "never" to "very often," how often they were ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by their parents or another adult living their home. Those who reported "sometimes" or greater were considered as having experienced harsh physical punishment.

About 6 percent of respondents were considered to have suffered harsh physical punishment. Boys, blacks and those from more educated, more affluent families were most likely to report such abuse, the researchers said.

The researchers adjusted the data to take into account socio-demographic factors and any family history of dysfunction.

Thirty-two countries prohibit physical punishment of children by parents or caregivers, but the practice is legal in the United States and Canada, according to background information in the study. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against the use of physical punishment as a form of child discipline.

Nevertheless, the researchers say a survey of U.S. adults showed that 48 percent of respondents reported a history of harsh physical punishment without more severe abuse. A 2010 University of North Carolina study revealed that nearly 80 percent of preschool children in the United States are spanked.

Some experts support the notion that harsh discipline can negatively affect kids but express concerns about the specific implications of this new study.

"While it's a well-done study, looking at a national data sample, there are limitations in the way the study was done," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "There are limitations to relying on adults recalling childhood experiences, and it's hard to control for familial psychopathology."

Adesman added that while the research reinforces that there are now more good reasons not to use physical punishment, "we can't infer that physical punishment leads to major psychological disorders."

Still, Adesman said the public needs more education about the dangers of physical punishment to children and the alternatives that parents can effectively use.

"There's a general presumption that parenting comes naturally, but there are things people need to learn. We have PSAs [public service announcements] about all kinds of health issues, but I've yet to hear any tips for providing non-physical punishment to children."

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips on disciplining children.

SOURCES: Tracie O. Afifi, assistant professor, department of community health sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; August 2012 Pediatrics

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Job Worries for Parents May Mean Poorer Nutrition for Kids
2. Limited Radiation May Help Some Kids With Lymphoma
3. More Vigilance Needed to Protect Kids With Food Allergies
4. Delaying ADHD Meds Could Hurt Kids Math Scores
5. Plastics Chemical Linked to Obesity in Kids
6. Could Fertility Drugs Make Kids Shorter?
7. HIV Exposure Before Birth May Raise Kids Risk of Hearing Loss
8. Study Ties Kids Allergy Risks to Antibacterials, Preservatives
9. Parents - not TV - may determine whether kids are active or couch potatoes
10. Boys Town Releases 5 Signs of Heat Stroke in Kids
11. More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Spanking Batters Kids' Mental Health: Study
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ... will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. ... cap sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening ... industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, ... ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that ...      (Photo: ) , ... ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: