Spanking children as a form of discipline is doing more harm than good. That's what University of Michigan researchers are saying after analyzing fifty years of research into how kids are punished.
Spanking, says U of M's Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, "does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do."
Grogan-Kaylor is an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. He sifted through 75 studies involving more than 160,000 children with Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas -- and formerly a teacher at U of M.
According to the University of Michigan, the two researchers found that spanking children didn't really lead them to comply with their parents.
"Spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children," Grogan-Kaylor said.
The more frequently children were spanked, the more likely they were to be antisocial and to suffer mental health issues, a U of M explanation of the research says. Those are the same outcomes experienced by children who are abused, they said.
"Our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree," Gershoff says.
The research has been published in the Journal of Family Psychology and you can learn more on Grogan-Kaylor's website.