The debate whether corporal punishment over children should be practiced or not has been going on for a long time.
A study very recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal concluded that corporal punishment has very negative effects on children. The study has been going on for 20 years, and has ended after examining 20 years of published research on the issue.
According to the article published on the topic:
Spanking children can cause long-term developmental damage and may even lower a child’s IQ, according to a new Canadian analysis that seeks to shift the ethical debate over corporal punishment into the medical sphere.
Durant and co-author Ron Ensom, with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, cite research showing that physical punishment makes children more aggressive and antisocial, and can cause cognitive impairment and developmental difficulties.
Recent studies suggest it may reduce the brain’s grey matter in areas relevant to intelligence testing.
“What people have realized is that physical punishment doesn’t only predict aggression consistently, it also predicts internalizing kinds of difficulties, like depression and substance use,” said Durant.
“There are no studies that show any long term positive outcomes from physical punishment.”
As to the controversy surrounding corporal punishment: according to Joan Durant, a professor at University of Manitoba and one of the authors of the study:
“We’re really past the point of calling this a controversy. That’s a word that’s used and I don’t know why, because in the research there really is no controversy. If we had this level of consistency in findings in any other area of health, we would be acting on it. We’d be pulling out all the stops to work on the issue.”
Parents only want the best for their child, but I think corporal punishment doesn’t qualify as the “best” way to discipline your child. You might even want to learn better language techniques to communicate with your child.
For further reading, you might want to check out Here’s One Secret to Raising Self-Confident Children and Successful Parenting.