Study claims spanking leads to mental illness - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Study claims spanking leads to mental illness

Spanking has been linked to mental health problems in children and adults, according to a new study. Source: Flickr Creative Commons. Spanking has been linked to mental health problems in children and adults, according to a new study. Source: Flickr Creative Commons.
UNITED STATES (WDAM) -

A new study claims that the more children are spanked, the more likely they will develop mental health problems. 

The study, which was conducted at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, linked aggression, anti-social behavior, and cognitive difficulties to spanking. 

The data was gathered over a 50 year time period.

According to the study, most Americans don't recognize spanking as abusive behavior. Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences, said spanking has unintended detrimental outcomes similar to physical abuse. 

Gershoff said that based off the data gathered in the study, spanking actually does the opposite of what parents want it to do. 

The study also listed long-term effects in adults who were spanked as children. These included physical punishment for their own children, causing a generational cycle. 

An excerpt from the report concludes that there is no evidence of positive effects to spanking: 

"The researchers looked at a wide range of studies and noted that spanking was associated with negative outcomes consistently and across all types of studies, including those using the strongest methodologies such as longitudinal or experimental designs. As many as 80 percent of parents around the world spank their children, according to a 2014 UNICEF report. Gershoff notes that this persistence of spanking is in spite of the fact that there is no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking and ample evidence that it poses a risk of harm to children’s behavior and development." - Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research

The study paralleled a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

To learn more about this study, click here. 

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