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Spanking causing aggression

Posted by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM
  • 21 Replies

Do you think this is true?


Spanking Linked to Kids' Later Aggression

Corporal Punishment for 3-Year-Olds May Be Linked to Aggressive Behavior When Kids Get Older
By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

April 12, 2010 -- Moms who spank their 3-year-olds may be increasing their children's risk of aggressive behavior, such as bullying, by the time they turn 5, a study shows.

The study, published in the May issue of Pediatrics, adds to evidence suggesting that spanking and other types of corporal punishment set kids up for aggressive behaviors later in life.

"Children need guidance and discipline; however, parents should focus on positive, non-physical forms of discipline and avoid the use of spanking," study researcher Catherine A. Taylor, PhD, an assistant professor of community health sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, tells WebMD in an email. "This message is consistent with that of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which 'strongly opposes striking a child for any reason.'"

Taylor and colleagues asked about 2,500 mothers how often they had spanked their 3-year-old child in the past month. Nearly half of the moms said they had not spanked their child during the previous month, 27.9% said they spanked their 3-year-old once or twice within the last month, and 26.5% percent said they spanked their child more than twice in the past month.

The researchers also asked moms questions about their child's aggressive behavior, such as whether they were bullies, cruel, mean, destructive, and/or prone to getting into fights with others at age 3 and again at age 5.

Although other studies have shown a link between spanking and aggressive behavior, the new study solidifies the connection because the researchers controlled for other maternal risk factors that might have explained the link, such as neglect, maternal use of drugs and alcohol, maternal stress and depression, and the physical or psychological maltreatment of the child.

"This study reinforces that any kind of violence or physical aggression in the home is another risk factor for kids being more aggressive in the future," says Patricia Hametz, MD, director of the Injury and Violence Prevention Center and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University and director of the general pediatrics inpatient service at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in New York City.

Age-Appropriate Discipline

"The way you discipline depends on the age of the child, and pediatricians should give age-appropriate suggestions about how to discipline toddlers," Hametz tells WebMD. "Some people like time-outs, which remove a child from whatever it is that is overstimulating them."

Another tactic is to reward good behavior. "Praising, pointing out, and literally rewarding good behavior is a better discipline strategy than punishing bad behavior after it happens," she says.

Jennifer E. Lansford, PhD, a research scientist at the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy in Durham, N.C., agrees. "These findings suggest that spanking has the unintended consequence of increasing children's aggressive behavior, so the implication for parents would be that they should not use corporal punishment, but find other ways of managing their children's misbehavior and promoting good behavior," she says in an email.

This may include teaching about good and bad behavior and trying to prevent misbehavior rather than just reacting to it once it has occurred, she suggests. "Parents can use reward systems such as sticker charts, where a child earns a sticker or something else for good behavior, and special privileges such as extra time with mom or dad can be offered for completing the sticker chart."

Learning Aggressive Attitudes

The new findings make sense to child psychologist Vincent J. Barone, PhD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and the director of Developmental and Behavioral Sciences South Clinic at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics, also in Kansas City.

"The findings in this research are consistent with what we know about violent experiences for children. Whether a violent video game or corporal punishment, children learn aggressive attitudes and act them out when they are exposed to violence," he says. "Children don't learn peaceful ways of solving conflict when they are exposed to violence."

Barone usually suggests that parents briefly describe the inappropriate behavior and then use a time-out.

Also, he suggests, "use your attention and passion to describe and praise positive behaviors such as cooperation, thoughtfulness, and respect for others."


by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
orcadarwin
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Nope, don't believe a word of it.

laranadtony
by Emerald Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I think it is the opposite.Aggression causes spanking.My son was aggressive long before he was ever spanked!

iluv2meow
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:14 PM

no I was beat to a fucking pulp by my mother but I am far from aggressive - although I can and do have a bad temper. But no I dont think its all from being BEAT.

I also dont think spanking will traumatize ALL kids, some yes some are overly sensitive but others no.

stefvan
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:16 PM

 No, I think it's ignorant. 

ProudMuslimMa2B
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:21 PM

We were just threatened with spankings, we ended up just being given time outs in a corner and forgotten lol.

Mommy2_two
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Nope, don't believe it.

ddhb2007
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:33 PM
Well, I've sen this happen, so I do believe it. It's one of the reasons we don't spank in our home. However, trying to get people to see that it is an ineffective form of discipline will never happen. There's too much acceptance of this being a "good" form of discipline.
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Mackenzie40
by Platinum Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:35 PM

 This...

Quoting ddhb2007:

Well, I've sen this happen, so I do believe it. It's one of the reasons we don't spank in our home. However, trying to get people to see that it is an ineffective form of discipline will never happen. There's too much acceptance of this being a "good" form of discipline.

 








 

RAMOM
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:37 PM

nope i was spanked and i am very laid back ...

danielleg1022
by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM

 I believe it holds some truth but there are a lot of factors that contribute to aggression and there isn't a "soul" reason for it. I have read MANY psychology books and child development books over the last 6 years and they have all stated the same thing, that spanking can be one of the causing factors in aggression. But so can violence on tv or children could just be biologically wired to be aggressive. So many theories and yet not one is the correct one but all have some truth because of certain studies.

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