According to a new study conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff in Texas, hitting Children in order to “discipline” them, in fact makes them become more antisocial and violent in the future. Many studies were interested in this topic, but this is the latest and shows that using physical force is not an efficient method of upbringing and it has a destructive impact on the children.
In this study, researchers divided more than 13 thousand children into two different groups according to the history of their family, because using corporal punishment for the aims of the study would be totally inappropriate and unethical.
According to the abstract of the study: “The issue of spanking (whether or not to be used) is a real challenge for the researchers because spanking is not allowed and is considered to be unethical, and similar studies cannot be used as potential selection factors. In this study, a propensity score matching is used, which is based on the lifetime frequency and latest occurrence of spanking in s big and nationally representative sample (N=12,112) and also lagged depended variables to give as accurate causal estimates outside an experiment as possible.”
In the conclusion they claimed the following: “If children got corporal punishment at the age of 5, the problems in their behavior increases by ages 6-8. The statistically rigorous methods of this study have shown that hitting leads to a damage of children’s externalizing behavior after a certain period of time.”
Greshoff has explained this in more details in an interview, saying that, “Corporal punishment manifested in the frequency of having an argument with other children, participation in a fight or by a disruptive behavior in the classroom. Smacking makes children believe that they should be good when the parents are around, otherwise they will be hit. The child has no idea how to handle themselves when the parents are not around. We all get upset when we fail. The job of a parent is to teach the child how to manage and handle that. Smacking cannot teach anything.”
In most of the cases, each generation shows greater respect to children then they felt from their parents, this is especially true for the beginning of the 20th century. Physical punishment, abuse and child slavery have been very frequent throughout the history. However, in the last century people have become fully aware of how valuable is the human life and those horrible situations are becoming less common. There are still people who use physical force on children but it’s not so common because people are afraid of legal punishment.
Even if the adults have the best intention in the world, some of them still smack their children. Children often feel like their opinion doesn’t matter and as if they are second-class citizens and sad but true, in most people’s eyes that’s exactly what they are. So many adult people envy or even fear people although they may not be aware of it. The reason for this is the fear of the adults from the change that children are naturally predisposed to make. They hold back their fear by the attempt to tame and train the children, the same way they were tamed and trained by their parents. This type of behavior creates frustrated and confused people who quickly find the way out of any situation by using force and aggression.