Spanking Hampers Children’s Mental Health: Study Finds

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Spanking Hampers Children’s Mental Health

Mental Health News

A team of researchers at Old Dominion University, the US, explored the negative impact of spanking on children’s brains. The study is published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.

The Study

The researchers surveyed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011 (ECLS-K: 2011) conducted in the UK. They assessed factors like incidences of spanking, children’s social competence, and self-control, prosocial behavior, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed the negative effect of spanking on the brains of growing children.

The very practice of spanking to reinforce discipline can weaken parent–child attachment, as well as hinder the child’s positive and supportive social interactions with others.

The researchers added: “Many parents believe that spanking will reduce ‘bad’ behaviors and raise good characters in children. However, the study shows that spanking may hinder children’s development. Notably, this finding was robust with infrequent use of spanking, even once a week. In other words, spanking is doing the opposite of what parents intend to achieve.

To Know More You May Refer To

Kang J. (2022). Spanking and children’s social competence: Evidence from a US kindergarten cohort study. Child abuse & neglect, 132, 105817.

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