UPI Science News
CHICAGO, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Sparing the rod may actually save the
according to a new investigation on the long-term impact of spanking.
In a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine,
journal of the American Medical Association, scientists found that
children who were spanked were more likely to cheat, lie, bully other
kids, deliberately break things and cause trouble in school later on.
Also, they noted that spanked children felt no remorse and their
behavior got worse as they got older.
Sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire,
says youngsters who develop anti-social behaviors are also more likely
to grow up to become violent criminals.
The researchers suggest that ``society as a whole, not just
could benefit from ending the system of violent childrearing that goes
under the euphemism of spanking.''
Straus, author of a book called Beating the Devil Out of Them,
this study is the first to show that spanking can actually make a
child's behavior take a turn for the worse.
The study also showed that regardless of gender, socioeconomic
status, ethnic background or parenting style, the effect of spanking was
Straus, a long-time critic of corporal punishment for kids, says
team analyzed interviews conducted with 807 mothers of six-to nine-year-
old children in 1988 and then two years later.
About 44 percent reported spanking their kids at least once
the week before the interview, with an average of 2.1 spankings per
child. Mothers were also interviewed about how much their children
misbehaved. The scientists found that the more physical punishment
children received, the more anti-social they became.
Straus says spanking ``backfires'' for several reasons: it
let kids think for themselves; it makes them alienated and angry; it
teaches that violence can take the place of other forms of persuasion,
and it ``chips away at the bond between parent and child.''
While each spanking may remove just a little flake from the bond,
after years parents end up with ``a big hunk of the bond chipped away,''
says Strauss. Children with weaker bonds to their parents are more
likely to get into trouble.
Straus is now examining whether girls who were spanked are at a
greater risk of becoming pregnant as teenagers.
(Written in New York by Mara Bovsun)
Thought you all might like to see this...a friend sent it to me.