Spanking linked to dating violence

Disciplining children

Disciplining children

Spanking children can lead to adult relationship violence when those children grow up, a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of Pediatrics suggested.

The study, "Mothers' Spanking of 3-Year-Old Children and Subsequent Risk of Children's Aggressive Behavior", in the May issue of Pediatrics (published online April 12), asked almost 2,500 mothers how often they had spanked their 3-year-old child in the past month, as well as questions about their child's level of aggression, demographic features such as child gender, and eight maternal parenting risk factors, such as parenting stress, depression, alcohol use, and the presence of other types of aggression within the family. Of those, 69 percent say they'd been spanked growing up.

Temple said the connection between corporal punishment and dating violence isn't hard to see.

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"We found, in fact, that experiencing corporal punishment as a child was related to later perpetration of dating violence against an intimate partner", said Dr. Jeff Temple, a clinical psychologist in Galveston, Texas.

Researchers said an estimated 80 percent of children are physically punished worldwide and across cultures. The abuse seemed to take hold more if the punishment was from a parent or someone they admired.

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