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Thoughts on article? Spanking kids can cause long-term harm: Canada study

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM
  • 406 Replies
6 moms liked this
Spanking kids can cause long-term harm: Canada study

By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Spanking children can cause long-term developmental damage and may even lower a child's IQ, according to a new Canadian analysis that seeks to shift the ethical debate over corporal punishment into the medical sphere.

The study, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, reached its conclusion after examining 20 years of published research on the issue. The authors say the medical finding have been largely overlooked and overshadowed by concerns that parents should have the right to determine how their children are disciplined.

While spanking is certainly not as widespread as it was 20 years ago, many still cling to the practice and see prohibiting spanking as limiting the rights of parents.

That point of view highlights the difficulty in changing hearts and minds on the issue, despite a mountain of accumulated evidence showing the damage physical punishment can have on a child, says Joan Durant, a professor at University of Manitoba and one of the authors of the study.

"We're really past the point of calling this a controversy. That's a word that's used and I don't know why, because in the research there really is no controversy," she said in an interview.

"If we had this level of consistency in findings in any other area of health, we would be acting on it. We'd be pulling out all the stops to work on the issue."

Durant and co-author Ron Ensom, with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, cite research showing that physical punishment makes children more aggressive and antisocial, and can cause cognitive impairment and developmental difficulties.

Recent studies suggest it may reduce the brain's grey matter in areas relevant to intelligence testing.

"What people have realized is that physical punishment doesn't only predict aggression consistently, it also predicts internalizing kinds of difficulties, like depression and substance use," said Durant.

"There are no studies that show any long term positive outcomes from physical punishment."

While banned in 32 countries, corporal punishment of children retains at least partial social acceptance in much of the world. Debates on the issue typically revolve around the ethics of using violence to enforce discipline.

With the study, Durant hopes parents will start to look at the issue from a medical perspective.

"What we're hoping is that physicians will take that message and do more to counsel parents around this and to help them understand that physical punishment isn't getting them where they want to go," she said.

She also hopes that countries that allow the practice - including Canada - will take another look at their child protection laws.

Canada is one of more than 190 countries to have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a 1989 treaty that sets out protections for children.

The treaty - which has been ratified by all UN member states except for the United States, Somalia and South Sudan - includes a passage stating that countries must protect children from "all forms of physical or mental violence".

"If we had two or three studies that showed that if you took 500 mg of vitamin C a day you could reduce cancer risk, we would all be taking 500 mg of vitamin C a day," Durant said.

"Here, we have more than 80 studies, I would say more than 100, that show the same thing (about corporal punishment), and yet we keep calling it controversial."

(Reporting By Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Kris_PBG
by Representative on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM
I've been reading studies reporting this for a long time. I was surprised to see it was new news again.
TishaLeigh
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:30 PM
54 moms liked this

 wow I completly disagree I was spanked all my brothers , sisters , cousins , nieces , nephews , friends ect. ect. and Most of everyone I know does not suffer mentally or intelligently from it. God said spare not the rod :)

Kris_PBG
by Representative on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM
17 moms liked this
Quoting TishaLeigh:

 wow I completly disagree I was spanked all my brothers , sisters , cousins , nieces , nephews , friends ect. ect. and Most of everyone I know does not suffer mentally or intelligently from it. God said spare not the rod :)


I

Spare the rod was in regard to the sheep. The rod was NOT used to beat the sheep -it was used to guide them!

That verse means spare the GUIDANCE - spoil the the child. It has no relevance to corporal punishment.

Any article I have read has said it makes an IQ difference of 3-5 points. That is not a marked enough difference to be obviously apparent.
TishaLeigh
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:45 PM
5 moms liked this

 

Quoting Kris_PBG:

Quoting TishaLeigh:

 wow I completly disagree I was spanked all my brothers , sisters , cousins , nieces , nephews , friends ect. ect. and Most of everyone I know does not suffer mentally or intelligently from it. God said spare not the rod :)


I

Spare the rod was in regard to the sheep. The rod was NOT used to beat the sheep -it was used to guide them!

That verse means spare the GUIDANCE - spoil the the child. It has no relevance to corporal punishment.

Any article I have read has said it makes an IQ difference of 3-5 points. That is not a marked enough difference to be obviously apparent.

 I agree it was in regard to the sheep in my religion we are the sheep and was raised to spank. As for the article you read I'm sure there are plenty of articles saying tons of different things. I never believe what I read. I just go by what I know from experience. Also like you said the points are not enough to be apparent. As for my post before and this one it is just my opinion. It's ok to disagree :)

Kris_PBG
by Representative on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM
3 moms liked this
Quoting TishaLeigh:


Oh i agree we can most certainly have varying opinions. :)

I was simply responding to your exceptions to the article.

I understand many choose to spank, but that verse is not biblical grounds to do so as the sheep were not struck - i was just clarifying. THe topic actually led me to do a good deal of research into sheep herding practices -both past and present! Lol!


Bottom line is that a lot of studies have found consistent findings on this specific topic. Once people are informed of that, it is up to them whether they find it compelling.


whitleypittman
by Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 5:59 PM
4 moms liked this

 i was spanked. when done properly, no harm is done. my mom had it right. my dad, on the other hand.........

but i turned out just fine! :)

Kris_PBG
by Representative on Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM
2 moms liked this
Quoting whitleypittman:

 i was spanked. when done properly, no harm is done. my mom had it right. my dad, on the other hand.........


but i turned out just fine! :)




But that is what the article is saying -there is harm done. That is not to say people are "ruined" forever, but these studies are refuting the idea that this discipline tactic does not have negative side effects.
calimom1123
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM
16 moms liked this
I dont agree with the article and yes sparing the rod in the bible DOES mean the rod of correction. Rods were used to guide sheep and as a rod of correction or disipline. Read Proverbs 23:13 KJV

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die...

I do not advocate beating a child but im just saying that scripture about sparing the rod does refer to spanking.

Proverbs 13:24 KJV

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Same meanings in these two verses.
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TishaLeigh
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting Kris_PBG:

Quoting TishaLeigh:


Oh i agree we can most certainly have varying opinions. :)

I was simply responding to your exceptions to the article.

I understand many choose to spank, but that verse is not biblical grounds to do so as the sheep were not struck - i was just clarifying. THe topic actually led me to do a good deal of research into sheep herding practices -both past and present! Lol!


Bottom line is that a lot of studies have found consistent findings on this specific topic. Once people are informed of that, it is up to them whether they find it compelling.


 Thats not a bad idea I may indeed do some research on the topic myself. The sheep herding and perhaps discipline measurments as well :) I believe If time out worked I wouldnt spank and I have high hopes for that but for now I do what I gotta do :)

EireLass
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM
43 moms liked this

Yea, but that's only if you spank Canadian kids.

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