March 27, 2009

Report: Spanking makes children aggressive

Spanking children increases the likelihood they will become defiant and aggressive, a University of Michigan researcher said.

Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor in the school of social work, said a review of 100 years of research and published studies shows physical punishment puts kids at risk for increased mental health problems, anti-social behavior and serious injuries, the university said this week in a release.

There is little research evidence that physical punishment improves children's behaviors in the long term, said Gershoff.

The report, published by the Phoenix Children's Hospital, said spanking can also harm parent-child relationships by interfering with with a child developing trust and closeness.

(Spanking) does not teach children why their behavior was wrong or what they should do instead, the report said.