There is a huge difference between spanking your child and child abuse. But in a new study, one scientific association claims that spanking your child can be linked to an increase in behavioral problems.
The Association for Psychological Science recently released a new study claiming that spanking your child at a young age causes the behavioral problems seen in following years.
According to the study:
Children who have been spanked by their parents by age 5 show an increase in behavior problems at age 6 and age 8 relative to children who have never been spanked, according to new findings. The study, which uses a statistical technique to approximate random assignment, indicates that this increase in behavior problems cannot be attributed to various characteristics of the child, the parents, or the home environment - rather, it seems to be the specific result of spanking.
It could also be argued that children who receive little to no consequences for poor behavior become entitled and think that nothing they do is ever wrong.
The study also quoted psychological scientist at the University of Texas at Austin Elizabeth T. Girchoff:
Parents spank for many reasons, such as their educational or cultural background or how difficult their children's behavior is. These same reasons, which we call selection factors, can also predict children's behavior problems, making it difficult to determine whether spanking is in fact the cause of behavior problems. We realized that the statistical method of propensity score matching could help us get as close to an experiment as possible.
Basically, the Association for Psychological Science released a study in which they claim that spanking results in behavioral problems in young children while also saying that it's "difficult to determine whether spanking is in fact the cause of behavior problems."
I guess this passes for "science" in today's culture.
H/T: CBS Boston