Study Finds Spanking Kids Makes Their Behavior Worse Instead Of Correcting It

If you grew up in the ’90s or in any previous generations, you may have received a spanking when you were naughty. While many parents were led to believe that using physical force was the way to get kids to behave, experts have been saying for years that this is the wrong way to go about disciplining your kids. It leads them to fear you instead of respect you and can cause serious psychological damage, studies have proven. However, it’s also a pointless exercise, as a new study has found that spanking your kids actually makes their behavior worse rather than better.

  1. The study used data from 69 separate studies. In a paper published in The Lancet, researchers pulled from studies completed in Switzerland, The United States, the UK, China, Canada, Greece, Japan, Turkey, and Colombia. Every single one of them found that spanking kids makes them behave worse.
  2. Spanking sparks different behavior problems altogether. If you spank your kid because they won’t stop touching things in a supermarket, for instance, they might stop in that exact moment, but you could also be subjecting them to aggression, antisocial behavior, and disruptive behavior.
  3. Physical violence is not the way to teach your kids. As per UNICEF’s statment on its website: “Beyond the unnecessary hurt and pain it causes, violence undermines children’s sense of self-worth and hinders their development.” This goes along with the results published in The Lancet, which found literally zero correlation between spanking and improving kids’ behavior.
  4. Parents still spank their kids. While it’s being talked about more than ever before and many parents have come away from using physical discipline, many still believe there’s nothing wrong with it. Their logic is, “Well, I was spanked and I turned out fine.” This is harmful and needs to be addressed.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill