- July 13th 2012
The saying “spare the rod, spoil the child” may be well-ingrained in North American society, but new research shows that physically punishing children can affect their mental health.
Corporal punishments such as spanking, hitting, pushing and grabbing are associated with the development of mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse and personality disorders, says a study published online July 2 in Pediatrics.
Pediatricians and family physicians should talk with parents about healthy ways of disciplining their children and recommend they avoid physical punishment, said Tracie O. Afifi, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor in the Dept. of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“There are still a lot of people that believe that it is safe to hit your child,” she said. “We’re suggesting that physical punishment should not be used on children of any age. We need to focus more on positive reinforcement.”
Researchers [Read more]