A study published in the journal ‘Developmental Psychology’ of over 3,200 families in America has revealed that smacking children makes them more aggressive and badly behaved.
Data was collected when children were aged one, three and five and it was found that smacking severely affected children, regardless of how good a relationship they had with their parent.
‘There is a common belief that spanking that occurs in a positive parent-child relationship will not be harmful to children’, said Shawna Lee, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social work.
‘We were able to test that belief in this study [and found that] spanking predicted worse, not better, child behaviour over time, regardless of how warm mothers were with their children.’
The findings support other research that found shouting or threatening a teenager makes them more likely to develop depression and disruptive behaviour.