Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What do you think about this? I wonder if there are other supporting studies? I have never spanked my child nor did my parents spank us. Do you think spanking is necessary?

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. 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.


Asked by booklover545 at 5:02 PM on Jan. 21, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 38 (104,764 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Spanking is not necessary,but learning how to properly parent is.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 5:14 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • If you're spanking a child under the age of one you have bigger problems than this study could even begin to touch on

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 5:13 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • I was spanked as a child.... when I didn't sit still in church, I got the belt. When I was in third grade, I got spanked every single day with a wooden paddle because I talked. In fourth grade, my music teacher pulled our hair when we misbehaved.

    I am in no way violent, nor have I ever been.

    Oh, and I did spank my children when they were little..... NEVER when they were a baby, but probably from 2-10 if needed. I don't ever remember having to spank them more than a couple times.

    Answer by m-avi at 5:16 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • This study is about spanking a kid age 1 and under. Anyone who does that has serious issues. You don't spank an infant.

    Answer by kmath at 5:15 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • I spanked. Probably from the age of 2-3, only 1 flop over a diaper. Haven't had to raise my voice to the child since then. He knows who the boss is, and never questioned it.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 5:17 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • 1. You don't spank children that young
    2. I have said this before--I actually asked people this question as a survery. Were you spanked as a child? If they said 'yes' I asked if they thought hitting was ok. Everyone who had been spanked thought I was funny and when they realized I was serious, they answered the question with a "no".
    Spanking--not beating--will not create violent children.

    Answer by layh41407 at 5:23 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • how lucky YOU didn't get spanked, my DH got the belt, and I had a couple of spankings, we don't spank and will never, I can't tell you how they will turn out, but I do know my husband had nightmares over spanking, I really can't imagine a situation that warranted it for my CHILD, not for my release, KWIM?

    Answer by jerseydiva at 5:11 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • This has been posted before, and I repeat what I said then... 'Who the hell spanks an infant???" I agree with Mrs. Prissy... anyone who thinks spanking a baby is ok, has psychological issues that none of us can begin to address...

    Answer by Nimue930 at 5:16 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • Oh, and we already had this study posted another time a few weeks ago....

    Answer by m-avi at 5:17 PM on Jan. 21, 2013

  • ...i'd spank this 'study'.

    Answer by dullscissors at 5:25 PM on Jan. 21, 2013