Since the late s, when the first national surveys in the United States were published about spanking, it has been consistently found that almost all parents in the United States have occasionally spanked their children. The data have also shown that over 90 percent of children and adults remember being spanked as children. Because so many parents spank their children and the percentage has remained high over the years, most consider spanking to be a cultural norm in the United States.
The good news about spanking is that parents today are less likely to do it to their children than parents in the past. The bad news is that parents today still spank their kids—a lot. Spanking is also widespread worldwide.
Childhood punishments such as spanking, slapping, and hitting — even in the absence of full-scale maltreatment — are associated with an increased risk of mental disorders in adulthood, researchers reported. Adults who reported such punishments in their childhood had a greater risk of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse dependence, and several personality disorders, according to Tracie Afifi, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and colleagues. Up to 7 percent of some adult disorders can be attributed to "harsh physical punishment" in childhood, Afifi and colleagues reported online in Pediatrics.
The findings, recently presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research in San Francisco, suggest that moms and dads who perceive their standing in society to be lower are more likely to engage in authoritarian parenting practices such as corporal punishment. As many as 70 percent of parents agree that spanking is sometimes necessaryand prior to the mids, that figure was over 80 percent. Spanking is more common amongst born-again Christians, Republicans, people who live in the south, and black parents, research shows.
The findings help explain where Americans stand on corporal punishment after the indictment on child abuse charges of Adrian Peterson, a top NFL running back, in a case that sparked a contentious public debate over what is acceptable. The year-old Minnesota Viking allegedly left bruises and wounds on his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with the whippy end of a tree branch, called a switch, an act that Peterson has publicly admitted to. The online survey of 3, adults found that about 68 percent approved of spanking at home, and that figure varied little between race and income groups.
Although a majority of our readers don't think childhood spanking causes mental illness in adulthood, many of them noted that the topic is more complex than a simple "Yes" and "No" survey. However, our use of the term "corporal punishment" drew some ire. What does 'other corporal punishment' mean exactly?
Spanking is common in the United States but less common in many European countries in which it has been outlawed. Being spanked has been associated with child abuse victimization, poor self-esteem, impaired parent—child relationships, and child and adult mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral consequences. Being spanked as a child has also been shown to increase the likelihood of abusing one's own children or spouse as an adult. Spanking of very young children less than two is almost never recommended even among experts that consider spanking as reasonable in some circumstances.
Physical or corporal punishment by a parent or other legal guardian is any act causing deliberate physical pain or discomfort to a minor child in response to some undesired behavior. It typically takes the form of spanking or slapping the child with an open hand or striking with an implement such as a belt, slipper, canehairbrush or paddleand can also include shaking, pinching, forced ingestion of substances, or forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions. Social acceptance of corporal punishment is high in countries where it remains lawful, particularly among more traditional groups.
Millennials — people born near the end of the 20th century — are notably progressive when it comes to issues like gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Seventy-four percent of young adults ages approved of spanking, compared to 64 percent of adults older than The Chicago survey results are slightly different from a Harris surveywhich found older adults to be more in favor of spanking. Specific surveys vary, but polls consistently show a large majority of U.