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Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study

Posted by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 8:41 AM
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Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study

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Spanking and mental illnessAlthough the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages spanking, at least half of parents admit to physically punishing their children. Some research suggests that as many as 70-90 percent of mothers have resorted to spanking at one time or another. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics may cause parents to think more carefully before laying a hand on their little ones.


Related: Should Your Child be Spanked at School?


Researchers examined data from more than 34,000 adults and found that being spanked significantly increased the risk of developing mental health issues as adults. According to their results, corporal punishment is associated with mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, as well as personality disorders and alcohol and drug abuse. They estimate that as much as 7 percent of adult mental illness may be attributable to childhood physical punishment, including slapping, shoving, grabbing, and hitting. The study reports that spanking ups the risk of major depression by 41 percent, alcohol and drug abuse by 59 percent, and mania by 93 percent, among other findings.



Watch: Prescription drug abuse on Yahoo! News


"We're not talking about just a tap on the bum," study author Tracie Afifi, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, explained in a statement. "We were looking at people who used physical punishment as a regular means to discipline their children." However, the analysis excluded individuals who reported more severe maltreatment such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, or exposure to intimate partner violence.


"It definitely points to the direction that physical punishment should not be used on children of any age," said Afifi. Researchers concluded, "It is important for pediatricians and other healthcare providers who work with children and parents to be aware of the link between physical punishment and mental disorders."


The physical punishment of children is legal in the United States, although it is banned in at least 24 other countries. It's worth noting that 19 states also allow corporal punishment in schools. Earlier studies have linked spanking toddlers to increased aggression in older children. Spare the rod, spare the child?


by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 8:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Silver Member on Jul. 3, 2012 at 8:56 AM
40 moms liked this

Alot of women on here are mental cases and they claim to have never been spanked.

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:01 AM
39 moms liked this

I don't buy that for a second.  We did have our fair share of spankings while growing up and my brothers and I are fine, then my parents adopted my little brother and never spanked him and he is nuttier than a fruitcake, (I love him anyways).  Both of his birth parents are crazy as everything.   My kids have had their share of spankings as well and all are perfectly healthy.

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:32 AM

hmmmm interesting.

by Michelle on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

 I am absolutely shocked that Florida is one of those states :(

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM
Intetesting.i never laid a finger on my 2 year old and din't
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by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:39 AM
2 moms liked this
I could totally see this.

They aren't talking about occasional spanking ( which I would never do either) but excessive.
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by Ruby Member on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM
2 moms liked this

I think there may be some truth to this. Mental issues can range from self esteem issues all the way to more serious disorders.

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM


by Member on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:51 AM
35 moms liked this

its crap... its just another article to try and stop parents from spanking their kids.. people need to learn there is a RIGHT  WAY and a WRONG WAY to spank.. these cases arent specific on how their parents spanked just that they got it..

by on Jul. 3, 2012 at 9:59 AM
57 moms liked this

 being human can lead to mental illness, depression, cancer and poor nail beds.  I can find a study to link anything to anything....6 degrees of Kevin Bacon

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