DOES IT REALLY CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS LATER IN LIFE?
There has been a steadily growing outcry against spanking over the course of the past several decades. I am not sure that I know any government schools that allow spanking today for fear of a lawsuit. But ask the average public school teacher why our schools are all too often more like the Wild West than a classroom, and you'll quickly realize that they have been neutered as far as their ability to administer effective punishment is concerned. Spanking is not only being associated with child abuse, it is now being cited as a causal factor in developing heart disease, arthritis, and obesity.
According to research from Dr. Tracie Afifi of the University of Manitoba in Canada, children who receive "harsh physical punishment" were nearly 25% more likely to be OBESE, 35% more likely to develop ARTHRITIS, and significantly more likely to end up with heart disease than those who were not punished in a physically harsh manner. And it was just a year ago that her research tied corporal punishment to DEPRESSION, mental illness, and addictions to things like drugs, alcohol, and gambling. The conclusions of Dr Afifi's study, as reported by the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics (Harsh Physical Punishment in Childhood and Adult Physical Health) are as follows.
"Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with some physical health conditions in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is associated with a higher likelihood of physical health conditions."
By the way, although I have not read it yet (I have read excerpts and articles about it), the same issue of Pediatrics contains an opposing editorial by Dr. Rachel Berger of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Dr. Adam Zolotor of the the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. They believe that her conclusions are "lacking".