Smacking Increases Risk of Addiction & Mental Illness Later in Life

Health & Wellness on 07.04.12
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OK, just in case there's anyone out there who hasn't gotten the news yet: smacking doesn't work. In fact, it causes more problems and can seriously harm your child. 

We've already seen studies showing that smacking kids makes them aggressive and badly behaved, and that negative parenting styles (including smacking) make kids more likely to act out. Add to that revelations that exposure to violence ages kids' DNA, and you'd think we'd be ready to leave the nostalgia for "good old fashioned discipline" behind. 

Nevertheless, the idea that smacking or spanking can help teach kids right from wrong is a pervasive one. So it's worth taking note of one more study, reported over at CBS, which shows spanking may cause mental health problems, addiction and negative outcomes in adult life:

For the study, Canadian researchers looked at data from a U.S. survey of nearly 35,000 adults that was collected between 2004 and 2005. They determined about 6 percent of adults experienced harsh physical punishment in the absence of more severe forms of child maltreatment  including physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect. Types of harsh physical punishment included spanking, slapping, hitting, shoving, grabbing and pushing.

The researchers found harsh physical punishment increased a person's odds for having a mood or anxiety disorder, engaging in alcohol or drug abuse and risk for several types of personality disorders. They determined that between 2 and 7 percent of mental health disorders among study participants were attributed to physical punishment.

Once again, the evidence mounts that a more thoughtful, conscience-led approach to discipline wins out. As Michelle Duggar has argued, praise a child publically, correct them in private, and always look for the positive and the praise worthy.

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