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Spanking a child leads to bad behaviors, not the better manners some parents may think a smack on the bottom will elicit, a new study suggests for spanking kids.
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan analyzed 75 studies involving more than 150,000 children that spanned 50 years.
“This is a wide swath of children and the findings are incredibly consistent,” study author Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff told CBS News. “This shows there is a correlation between spanking and negative outcomes and absolutely no correlation between spanking and positive outcomes.”
Spanking doesn’t make kids behave better right away and it leads to worse behavior in the long run, said Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. And spanked kids are more likely to be aggressive and antisocial.
“The irony is that many parents spank when their kids are aggressive. So the child thinks you can use spanking to get what you want – kids learn that,” she said.
Even though some may think spanking is an antiquated parenting technique at this point in time – over the past decade or two, parenting books have touted a gentler, kinder parenting technique involving positive reinforcement – Gershoff said spanking still goes on in lots of households.