If you think that the answer to an unruly child is a good spanking, think again, say researchers from the Universities of Texas and Michigan, who
after extensive analysis found that this form of punishment only makes youngsters more likely to be defiant and aggressive.
Their study, which was published in the April edition of the Journal of Family Psychology, was based on five decades worth of research involving more
than 160,000 children. They are calling it the most extensive scientific investigations into the spanking issue, and one of the few to look
specifically at spanking rather than grouping it with other forms of physical discipline.
“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” lead author Elizabeth
Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas, said in a statement Monday. “We found that
spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents'
intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”