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Study Suggests Spanking Children Could Make Them Aggressive

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 07:33:1

David Goodhue - AHN News Reporter

New Orleans, LA, United States (AHN) - Tulane University researchers say in a recent report that spanking children frequently at age 3 will make them more likely to be aggressive when they turn 5.

The researchers asked almost 2,500 mothers how often they spank their 3-year-old children in one month. The mothers were also asked about other factors , including their children's level of aggression, demographic features and maternal parenting risk factors.

Almost half of the participants, 45.6 percent, said they had not spanked their children in the previous month. Almost 28 percent reporting spanking one to two times, and 26.5 percent reported spanking their child more than twice.

The researchers said in a statement that the more a child is spanked as a toddler, the more likely he is to have higher levels of aggression and exhibit behavior like arguing or screaming, cruelty, bullying or meanness to others, destroying things, fighting and frequently threatening others.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends never spanking children, but the study's authors said most parents think it is sometimes an appropriate form of punishment.

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