Spanking even if done in a disciplinary light, is not good for children, a new study has found.
The world is divided when it comes to the appropriateness of spanking. Some believe that mild physical punishment is necessary to solidify the values parents want their children to learn, yet some filially believe that being physical is never the answer.
"We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors," says Elizabeth Gershoff, author of a new study that was able to confirm the harms of spanking. "Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree."
Here are some of the reasons why spanking, even for disciplinary purpose, is not good for children.
More Spanking, More Defiance
When parents spank, they most likely aim to establish authority and to let their kids follow and behave appropriately. However, the study discovered that the more children are spanked, the more elevated is the risk of them defying their parents.
Children also tend to be more aggressive in their behaviors, resulting in more undesirable outcomes.
Another reason why spanking is not good for young children is the high risk of them passing the practice to their kids in the future.
When people who were spanked as kids become parents, they tend to use physical punishment as a way to discipline their own kids. This signifies that such disciplinary measures are most likely passable to the next generation.
People who spank their children because that was how they were disciplined derive their choice from automatic practice and not from the efficacy of the measure.
Parents choose to spank because they believe that this will instill discipline in their kids, resulting in more desired behavioral outcomes. The main purpose of spanking is to make the kids comply to what the parents want or think is appropriate.
The new study, however, found that spanking do not actually yield both short-term or long-term compliance.
Children who are spanked also tend to show anti-social behaviors and undergo mental health problems. A difficulty in cognition is also associated with the controversial disciplinary practice.
The study was published in the Journal of Family Psychology on April 7.