I swear you can find a research study to support any belief, custom, practice. Spanking is no exception. I’ve always fallen under the thought that spanking, a form of physical violence used for disciplining, teaches children that hitting is an appropriate solution to social problems.
In my 14 years in education, the children that were spanked by their parents are often the ones who exhibit more behavior and socialization problems later in life. A new study does supports my experience about aggressive behavior, but it also finds that “children who are smacked before the age of six perform better at school when they are teenagers.”
Young children who are smacked by their parents grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been hit, research claims…
They are also more likely to do voluntary work and to want to go to university than those who have never been physically disciplined.
It is not all good news for those that are disciplined with a heavy hand. Academic success comes at a cost of physical aggression:
But the study also revealed that children who are smacked after the age of six were more likely to exhibit behavioural problems, such as being involved in fights.
Those who had been smacked between seven and 11 fared worse on negative behaviour but were more likely to be academically successful. Teenagers who were still smacked fared worst on all counts.
In Eur0pe, spanking is illegal in 20 countries. Sweden became the first country to ban spanking in 1979. In the United States, spanking laws vary by states but seem to have a common thread it is alright to use physical force if the parent “reasonably believes it necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline or promote welfare of the child”. In my state of California, hitting a child for discipline purposes is legal as long as it does not leave a mark, but what about the emotional marks one can’t see?
Obviously, there are flaws with this study.