July 03rd, 2012
(BlackMediaScoop) A new study is making parents think twice about spanking their kids. Being spanked, slapped, pushed, or hit as a child, even when these punishments are not a part of full-scale maltreatment, are linked to an increased risk of mental illness in adulthood in a new study published in Pediatrics.
Adults who reported undergoing such punishments, about 6% of respondents, had greater risks of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, and several personality disorders. Up to 7% of instances of disorders covered in the study can be attributed to harsh physical punishment in childhood.
The study finds an association between the two, but, as HealthDay points out, it does not actually prove that one causes the other. Previous studies had shown a link between physical punishment and behavioral problems, but this one wanted to study the issue removing the more severe forms of physical and sexual abuse.
Males, blacks, and those from more educated and wealthier families were most likely to report harsh physical abuse. Data was adjusted to take into account socio-demographic factors and family histories of dysfunction.