Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Do You Spank Your Kids?

I know this is a touchy subject. I was surprised to read this story that says the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NOT spanking kids, but MOST U.S. parents approve of spanking. Is that really true? Do you spank your kids? Do your friends spank their kids?

FROM NBC: A study out of Tulane University finds spanking children at age three increases the chance they'll behave aggressively once they reach kindergarten. A survey of nearly 25 hundred mothers found those who reported spanking their children more than twice in the past month had more aggressive five year-olds.

The aggression remained even after the researchers accounted for other influential factors -- like alcohol use at home and stressed parents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against spanking, although most U.S. parents approve of spanking as a form of punishment.

FROM TIMES NEWS LINE: Many parents continue to give corporal punishment to their kids in spite of contrary advice from American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centre for Effective discipline. In fact a 2005 survey reveals that 72% of parents believed that it is acceptable to spank their kids.

Although the new study doesn't prove that corporal punishment causes aggression by itself, it shows that the link remains even after excluding a broad range of possible explanations.

"That is really a key point that sets the study apart," said Catherine A. Taylor, of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, who led the research, published in the journal Pediatrics. Examination of earlier data from population based study of families showed that nearly half of the children were categorized as “higher aggression” while the other half was categorized as “lower aggression”.

More than half of the nearly 2,500 kids had been spanked in the month before the interview. And those who had been swatted more than twice at age three had twice as high odds of being highly aggressive at age five.

A recent American Psychological Association division task force that was chaired by Graham Bermann of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where she defined spanking as open-handed hitting that does not injure the child –but makes them do what they are told in the short run. Psychologists on the other hand recommend time outs and other types of non physical punishments.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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