Research: Children who are spanked more likely to become violent toward future partners


With each passing year, the debate concerning physical discipline of a child becomes that bit more fierce.

There are still those who stick to the old methods, and worry that by making their son or daughter exempt from physical punishment, they are paving the way for a lack of respect. Of course, many parents now believe that applying the hand (or in some cases worse) to their offspring, they’re only making things worse, as well as potentially doing them psychological harm for the future.

In years gone by it’s been perfectly acceptable to dish out punishment on your child where you see fit. That might be evolving over time, but the question still remains … does subjecting your child to physical punishment damage them? Well, according to CNN, a study by the University of Texas Medical Branch has borne some interesting results …

The study

The research in question sampled a pool of 800 adults, finding that most of those who behaved violently in their relationships had been hit by their own parents.

Jeff Temple, the study’s lead author and Psychiatry Professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch told CNN: “Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence.”

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The study discerned that hitting your children encourages the notion physical violence is an acceptable way to solve conflict – something that they could instinctively turn to later on in life.

“When a parent tries to get children to behave better by hitting them, that parent is telling them that hitting people who are smaller and weaker than you is an acceptable way of getting what you want from them,” Dr. Denise Cummins wrote for Psychology Today.

“Why should it surprise that parent when their children beat up smaller children at school, or grow up to be wife beaters?”