Is It Okay To Spank Children? 5-Decade Research Says No

For some parents, spanking is the easiest way to discipline their children. However, the easiest doesn't necessarily mean the best. A new study showed that children who are repeatedly spanked by their parents are more likely to experience anti-social behavior, aggression, cognitive difficulties and life-long mental health problems.

Researchers Finds Damning Evidence Against Spanking

In a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas analyzed 75 different studies which spanned 50 years and involved 150,000 children. The researchers claimed it was the most thorough analysis on spanking to date.

"This is a wide swath of children and the findings are incredibly consistent," lead researcher Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff shared to CBS News. "This shows there is a correlation between spanking and negative outcomes and absolutely no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes."

Spanking Runs In The Family

Researchers also found that the more children are spanked, the more likely they were to use physical punishment to discipline their own children. This goes to show that the culture of violence is passed down from generation to generation.

"Our society is becoming increasingly violent and angry; we should try to do everything possible to minimize that culture around our children," said Dr. David Pollack of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Discipline is derived from the word 'disciple' or teacher, and our goal is to teach kids right from wrong, to have them always engage with others in a positive and productive way."

Think Before You Spank

A report from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund noted that 80 percent of parents around the world employ physical abuse practices at home. Gershoff argued that despite its prevalence, there has been no clear evidence that spanking causes anything positive for children. On the contrary, spanking has been shown in numerous studies to harm the overall development of children.

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