Some aspects of parenting never change, but attitudes about the best way to discipline children do. In 1986, 84 percent of parents approved of spanking misbehaving children, according to FiveThirtyEight. In 2012, that number had dropped to 70 percent. It seems that many moms and dads no longer think spanking is a viable method for discipline, but why is spanking starting to fall out of favor?
It could be thanks to recent research, such as this analysis of 50 years of data by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan. Their findings, which were published in the Journal of Family Psychology, highlighted the detrimental impact that physical punishment can have on a child including anti-social behavior and mental health problems.
In fact, a recent study from the University of Michigan found that children who experienced spanking have mental health problems in adulthood. As Science Daily explains, the study showed that spanking can lead to devastating emotional issues later in life, including:
- suicide ideation/suicide attempts
- binge drinking/alcoholism
- Illegal drug use
“Placing spanking in a similar category to physical/emotional abuse experiences would increase our understanding of these adult mental health problems,” Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor of social work at University of Michigan, explained to Science Daily.
The University of Michigan study is the most recent, but it is far…
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