CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s a decision many parents grapple with: should you spank your kids?
A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests it may do more harm than good.
“We found that experiencing corporal punishment as a child was related to later perpetration of dating violence against an intimate partner,” said Dr. Jeff Temple.
Temple, along with a team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, has been checking in with a group of nearly 800 people every year. Now that they're in their late teens and early 20s, they were asked if they've ever committed some kind of dating violence. Nineteen percent said yes. Of those, 69 percent say they'd been spanked growing up.
Dr. Temple says it's easy to see how that connection forms a child's mind.
“They might see that as an OK way to resolve conflicts in their adolescent relationships or their adult relationships,” Dr. Temple said.
Dr. Temple says this just adds to growing evidence that corporal punishment has negative long-term effects like aggression and mental health problems, despite so many of us saying we were spanked and turned out just fine.
“Not only do we want to be 'just fine,' we want to better than the previous generation. We want to be healthier and happier.”