It used to be common to spank a child as a form of discipline. Sometimes, it was the only thing that could get them back on track. We know better now. According to Science, spanking can cause long-term negative effects. A recent study found that spanking kids can make them more aggressive and hurt them.

A group of 69 previous studies from a variety of countries in the study showed a mix of positive and negative outcomes but most found a negative impact.


What researchers had to say.

Researchers have come to the conclusion that spanking can increase behavior problems over time, including causing increased aggression, and disruptive behavior. They came to a conclusion that spanking doesn’t really have positive outcomes over time and that it can make it more likely that child protective services could involve themselves.

According to the study, physical punishment is seen as a form of violence that harms children. The findings show that physical punishment is harmful to children and that policy remedies are needed. This is not the first time we have heard this. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, spanking can cause aggression, brain changes, substance abuse, and suicidal behavior in adulthood.

To this day, spanking is still very common. Around 6 in 10 children worldwide are victims of physical punishment, according to a study by UNICEF in 2017. The good news is that more and more parents are complying with certain policies related to punishments similar to the above. A study published in 2020 shows a decrease in spanking from 50% to 35%.


The healthy alternatives to physical punishment.

The results of physical punishment can be just as effective as the results of spanking, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. They suggest the following alternatives for punishment:

  • Taking away favorite toys
  • Setting firm limits
  • Doing timeouts