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Spanking Makes Children Aggressive

Children aged three who are spanked frequently are more apt to be aggressive later, according to a study released Monday.

The study examined 2,500 mothers, asking them how frequently they spanked their child and how hostile their children were. The study discovered that children spanked often at age three were more likely to be more hostile at age five.

The study has ties to social work. One of the co-authors is Shawna J. Lee, assistant professor at the School of Social Work at Wayne State University.

You can find the study online by clicking here. Or you can read a Tulane University press release on the study by clicking here.

The National Association of Social Workers has said the “weight of evidence” repeatedly shows physical punishment of children is not as effective as other means of behavior management.  According to NASW policy: 

“The use of physical force against people, especially children, is antithetical to the best values of a democratic society and of the social work profession. Thus, NASW opposes the use of physical punishment in homes, schools, and all other institutions, both public and private, where children are cared for and educated.” 

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  1. I was taught this by my earliest social work mentors 38 years ago. Nice to find a study that confirms it!

  2. That depend what culture one comes from. I disagree with the study. I received spankings and I am not aggressive. Yes maybe certain cultures spankings may make them aggressive, especially they watch aggressive cartoons. Beating a child yes, that would make them aggressive, What make children aggressive is violent movies that parents allow their children to watch.

  3. You cite “NASW policy,” but not where this policy can be found. When I Google these words you’ve quoted, I only find two blog entries. Where does this NASW policy live, exactly?

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