According to senior author Elizabeth Gershoff, a professor in human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, physical punishment such as spanking to be “harmful to children’s development and well-being.”
“Parents hit their children. Because they think doing so will improve their behaviour. Unfortunately for parents who hit their children, our research found clear and compelling evidence that physical punishment does not improve children’s behaviour. And instead makes it worse,” she continued.
The review published in The Lancet excluded verbal and severe types of physical punishment that would be characterized as child abuse.
The study measured actions such as hitting or slapping on the face, head or ears, throwing an object at a child, hitting a child, and beating. Also, punching, kicking, washing a child’s mouth out with soap, threatening with a knife or gun throwing down, choking and burning were included in the study.
Some studies in the review found mixed results (positive and negative effects) associated with physical punishment. But the majority of the studies showed a significant negative impact in several ways.
13 out of 19 independent studies revealed that child punishment created more external problem behaviours over time. Such as “increased aggression, increased antisocial behaviour, and increased disruptive behaviour in school.”
By Grace Somuah-Annan|3news.com|Ghana]]>