New study proves the negative impact of spanking on children
“Spare the rod and spoil the child“ may be an age old saying but it never ever meant that you should beat or spank your kids black and blue. If you thought a spanking was good for your kid, well think twice before you pick up a slipper or even wack him with your hand.
In-depth analysis resulting from five decades of research has revealed that spanking has a negative impact on children and could result in huge psychological effects on your child.
1 Spanking Still a Matter of Debate
Research on the effects of spanking has never been easy. While some people have varying opinions on the topic, others are prone to subject their children to diverse forms of corporal punishment. As a result, studies in the past have never really differentiated between varied punishments to enable researchers to deduce a reasonable conclusion on spanking.
Writing in her Journal of Family Psychology, Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff of the Texas University in Austin has collected data spread over a number of studies to such effects. The studies included a phenomenal number of children amounting to 160,927 as subjects of a variety of case studies.
2 Spanking Should Never Be an Option
She says “Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors.” Spanking should be defined as nothing more than a sharp open-handed slap to a child’s buttocks or limbs for that matter.
What Gershoff analyzed from her research was that Spanking has a negative impact on children and should never be considered an option as it was not very effective in getting a child to obey a parent. This was concluded after studying 17 possible outcomes detrimental to child behavior associated with spanking.
3 Spanking Does Not Make a Child Obedient
Spanking did not induce long term obedience in a child as is the intention of all parents in disciplining their children. Moreover, the statement “it never did me any harm” was not justified as the research proved that those adults who were spanked as children were prone to psychological disorders and anti-social behavior.
According to a UNICEF report, at least 70 percent of children were spanked in most countries. Thus, it can’t altogether be concluded that spanking is totally detrimental to a child unless of course one take a good look at the present state of humanity. However, Gershoff’s study focused on the frequency of spanking and found there more you spank your child the more disobedient he could turn out to be.
4 Spanking and Physical Abuse Is the Same
Even more shocking is the fact that Gershoff’s study concludes that the outcomes of physical abuse and spanking could well be the same; negative traits seen in a child albeit to a lower degree. Gershoff’s studies researched cases as early as the 1960s. Even as there are differentiated opinions in regards to the differences of spanking and physical abuse, child psychologists state they are the same and that spanking does have a negative impact on children.
Spanking is still a matter of controversy in several countries around the globe. While it was banned in Sweden in 1979, it is still a raging debate in Canada. In New Zealand, the legislation to ban smacking invited strong opposition as an 88 percent majority felt that when loving parent smacked their kids, it could not be construed as abuse and would not breed any violence.