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Study: Spanking spurs violence

New study lays out a connection between spanking, aggression, anxiety and depression, so examine your actions carefully

By Christine L. Chen Jan 9, 2013 9:44PM

There are few topics that spark controversial discussion more than politics. Here’s one, though: spanking children. If just the topic of spanking makes you tense, consider what a new study  is saying about the act of spanking.

According to researchers, if you spank kids under the age of 1, you’ll have a hitting, screaming, tantrum-prone kid by the age of three. By age five, your kid will have fully identifiable depression and/or anxiety.

There’s a specific relationship between the two: Spanking at age 1 produces greater aggressive behavior, which eventually becomes depressive behavior. “Prior research had indicated that spanking was related to each type of child behavior ,” University of Wisconsin’s Andrea Gromoske told a reporter. "It turned out that spanking was directly related to future aggressive behaviors.”

Many people are pretty quick to nod their heads when asked whether video game violence leads to real violence, and the question of mental health looms large when the country grieves over events such as the Newtown, Conn. school shootings. In adults, depression and anxiety are widely known to manifest as anger and violence. But what if researchers hit the nail on the head… that the seed of violence of any kind by adults could be planted even earlier than we thought, through parental disciplinary action that molds a child’s psyche pretty much right after birth? Should we reshape our views on discipline in the name of anti-violence?

Like many controversial topics, the answer depends on whom you ask. The jury on spanking is – clearly – still out. In some studies, parental polling shows that nine out of 10 parents think a “good swat on the behind” is fine, while others polls show parents believe strongly in a “good hard spanking” every now and then. Officially, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no spanking, but  a three-step approach to discipline instead.

Many child behavior experts suggest reinforcing positive behaviors and providing structure and routine. Time-outs for toddlers are highly recommended by several child psychologists. KidsHealth.org believes in communicating the connection between behavior and consequence at ages 3 through 8.

One big thing to remember: Kids are sponges and soak up everything from their immediate surroundings. That amazing ability to absorb a language so easily at a young age also lets them learn behaviors, both good and bad. As adults, our own behaviors are a teaching tool. Be aware that your actions – and interactions – make a strong, lasting impression on your children.

More on Healthy Living
Parents’ Social Anxiety May Raise Kids’ Risk for Anxiety Disorder
Mental Disorders Linked with Domestic Violence
With Spanking, Nature and Nurture Create More Aggression

 

 

367Comments
Jan 21, 2013 8:23AM
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THE PROBLEM WITH THIS GENERATION IS THAT THERE WAS NO SPANKING. I SPANKED MY KIDS, AND THEY ARE ALL ON HONOR ROLES, AND VERY SUCCESSFUL ATHLETES.  YOU SHOULD LOOK AT HOW YOUR RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED, I THINK IT WAS SKEWED SOMEWHERE.
Jan 21, 2013 8:12AM
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what a bunch of bull****. I was spanked throughout my adolescent years including before 1 year old........I still don't want to go out and hurt anyone, teach your children respect!




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I hated getting spanked growing up, but now i am thankful to my parents (just dont tell them).  I am a twenty seven year old hispanic female with a good job, my own home, and I have respect for other people.  I have a BA instead of kids with different baby daddies although I was raised in what many would consider a bad neighborhood.
Jan 21, 2013 11:56AM
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Nonsense.  Drivel. B***S***.  Growing up, (I am 47) we in the neighborhood were all spanked when we deserved it, not excessively.  We watched violent cartoons, James Bond, etc. ALL of us grew up responsible and have jobs, homes, and no criminal records. None of us whine and cry and blame our parents for any troubles in our lives because they spanked us, either. Enough said.
Jan 21, 2013 11:30AM
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What a bunch of bull. This "study" pretty much makes the entire adult population of this country violent.
Jan 21, 2013 11:02AM
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Spanking not beating is not abuse.  Before age 1 I don't believe but even then they need correction at times.  Not spanking and correcting children is why we have so many misbavior problems with children today.  I have seen kids screaming at their parents going through Department stores and throwing fits to get their way over buying something they want until they get it.  God gave us those children to train and love and nurture to be adults and we have a generation of spoiled adults right now that want want want everything they see whether they can afford it or not and disrespectful to their parents on top of it.  So a spank on the bottom is not abuse it is what God tells us in his word on how to bring up our children to respect their elders and they will be useful in our society.  If it keeps going like it is now God Help our Country it is in enough of a mess.

 

Jan 21, 2013 11:16AM
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Who comes up this crap?  Where do they find these nut jobs?  Just goes to show that if you pay an organization enough money, they will tell you anything you want to hear!
Jan 21, 2013 10:42AM
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spanking is not done for  sport  it is a action you take when a kid  won't  listen to  logic  under a year old  ???  depends  on what they did. i used 1 2 3 on my kids  i ask -i tell  your  butt  is  mine.  had to go to step  3- 2 times  on each  kid  once they learn you are not kidding  funny  kids really do like  limits'  but you have to mean what you  say . that is the trouble with the word today  nobody is  held reasonable  for there actions
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