Medicine

Spanking linked to dating violence

Spanking linked to dating violence

Temple, along with a team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, has been checking in with a group of almost 800 people every year. The researchers found a "significant positive association between corporal punishment and physical perpetration of dating violence". "While parents may think this form of physical punishment is a good lesson, substantial research indicates that it does way more harm than good". They also asked them if they had ever hit anyone in their dating life. Nineteen percent said yes.

"There's a propensity for grown-ups who have been spanked to state 'I turned out fine and dandy, ' " Temple said.

The study findings back up previous research that connects spanking during childhood with physical violence down the road.

Of course, this new study is limited in that it examined a group of less than 1,000 people, and all participants were from Texas.

The study found that young adults who had been physically punished were 29 percent more likely to commit "dating violence", although Temple's definition of the term is unclear.

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The takeaway? It's pretty simple, according to Temple: Spanking has serious, long-lasting consequences.

"Corporal punishment teaches that this will take care of a problem right away-I used violence and the problem is solved", Mendez says. As a result, they concluded, spanking could increase the chances that a child will turn violent when they become older.

"They might see that as an OK way to resolve conflicts in their adolescent relationships or their adult relationships", said Temple. "Corporal punishment is communicating to children that violence is an acceptable means of changing behavior", Temple said.

The correlation between the two was still strong even after researchers controlled for sex, ethnicity, age, parental education, and child physical abuse.