Here's What Getting Spanked as a Kid Did to Your Personality, According to Science
Mic Tue, Apr 26 10:01 AM PDT
If you got spanked as a kid, it probably didn't do you any good. In fact, it may have made your behavior even worse, new research suggests.
The more kids get spanked, the more likely they are to "defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties," according to experts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.
Their study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, analyzed five decades of spanking research representing around 160,000 children, according to a news release.
The study focused on "what most Americans would recognize as spanking, and not on potentially abusive behaviors," researcher Elizabeth Gershoff said in a statement. Spanking was defined as "an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities."
The results were not good: Gershoff and her co-author, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, discovered that the more adults were spanked as children, the more likely the were to develop a range of negative outcomes later in life — including mental health issues.
"We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents' intended outcomes when they discipline their children," Gershoff said.
Adults who were spanked as children were also "more likely to support physical punishment for their own children." On and on goes the cycle.