A new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine has concluded that parents who discipline their children place them at greater risk of developing health related problems later in life.
Researchers from Plymouth University in the United Kingdom based their study on the parenting styles of parents from Saudi Arabia and discovered that there was a link between parents who used physical punishment and insults as a means of discipline and the incidence of cancer, cardiac disease and asthma of their children later in life.
It was also discovered that parents who discipline their children by smacking them only once per month significantly increased the risk for developing cancer, cardiac disease and asthma.
The lead researcher, Professor Michael Hyland, was quoted as saying:
This study shows that in a society where corporal punishment is considered normal, the use of corporal punishment is sufficiently stressful to have the same kinds of long-term impact as abuse and trauma.
The researchers examined a total of 700 children, of which 250 of them were considered to be healthy and the other 450 had been diagnosed with asthma, cancer or cardiac disease.
Frequencies of participants in each group who experienced different levels of beating and insults:
Most disturbing of all the results was the fact that the researchers discovered that there was evidence to suggest that there is an increased risk of children developing health problems if they were only physically punished once every 6 months. The research suggests that even infrequent beating can have pathogenic effects.
In most Western countries, corporal punishment has been banned. However, the results of this study essentially suggest that parents should be banned from punishing their children.
Society by and large does not tolerate anyone who physically abuses children, but to suggest that even a smack once per month could increase their child’s risk of developing cancer, cardiac disease and asthma is going to be virtually impossible to convey to parents struggling with disobedient children.
The researchers acknowledge that there are limitations to the study. They acknowledged the “possibility of participants who have recalled childhood experiences incorrectly, the non-randomness of the selection of the different groups and the possible omission of confounding variables from the models used to construct our propensity scores.”
The researchers also acknowledge that there are other aspects of general parenting styles that may also be associated with increased poor health. This could include the child’s diet, genetic traits to develop these diseases and the environment in which they were raised.
I as a parent have never smacked either one of my children; but as a parent, I can assure you that when children misbehave, it’s understandable why some parents feel the need to smack their children.
What are your thoughts about this study? Were you smacked as a child? Do you think that as a society we are interfering too much with how parents choose to raise their children?
Andrew Puhanic is the founder of the Globalist Report. The aim of the Globalist Report is to provide current, relevant and informative information about the Globalists and Globalist Agenda. You can contact Andrew directly by visiting the Globalist Report