Canadian study links spanking and developmental problems - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Canadian study links spanking and developmental problems


A study published this week by the Canadian Medical Association claims spanking and other types of physical punishment can lead to mental health disorders and slower cognitive development in children. According to the study, kids who receive spankings have a greater chance of being aggressive, antisocial, anxious and depressed. In addition to this, the study says those children have lower IQs as adults and are more likely to have substance abuse problems.

Dr. Joshua Williams, Faculty in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Perceptual-motor Learning and Action in Infants (PLAI) Lab at Armstrong Atlantic State University, says this revelation isn't anything unheard of.

"Some of the first writings on education and physical punishment in education state the fact that physical punishment is typically ineffective as far as changing behavior," he said.

But he says the issue is not necessarily black or white, and these correlations and associations have several factors involved.

"The implications COULD be severe. When you read the title it's very catchy and tells you that spanking leads to this."

With this being said, he does not believe spanking is the proper way to discipline a child, and instead suggests other types of punishment.

He believes time-out and taking away a child's favorite toy are all acceptable forms of punishment. He also says to always try and encourage or reward positive behavior.

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