The results of new research by a sociology professor show that children who get spanked have lower IQs than those who were not spanked, and those who were frequently spanked show a slower development of mental ability.
“All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen. The results of this research have major implications for the well being of children across the globe.” – University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus
Straus’ study found that children in the U.S. who were spanked had lower IQs four years later than those who were not spanked. The study used samples of 806 children aged 2 to 4 years old, and 704 children aged 5 to 9, tested 4 years apart.
The IQs of children aged 2 to 4 who were not spanked were 5 points higher four years later than the IQs of those who were spanked. Children aged 5 to 9 years old who were not spanked had IQs 2.8 points higher after four years than the IQs of children the same age who were spanked.
“It is time for psychologists to recognize the need to help parents end the use of corporal punishment and incorporate that objective into their teaching and clinical practice. It also is time for the United States to begin making the advantages of not spanking a public health and child welfare focus, and eventually enact federal no-spanking legislation.” – Straus
Straus also says that the frequency of the spankings made a difference, with more spanking leading to slower mental development, yet even a small amount of spanking has an impact on the child.
According to the professor, corporal punishment is extremely stressful and can become a chronic stressor for young children. His research found that the stress of corporal punishment shows up as an increase in post-traumatic stress symptoms such as being fearful that terrible things are about to happen and being easily startled. These symptoms are associated with lower IQ.
We don’t spank our kids, and I feel strongly that parents who spank their kids might just need a good spanking themselves.
All of the parents I know would be very upset if their kids were bullied, yet some parents insist on their right to bully their own kids, and justify it by quoting “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, or by saying “I was spanked, and I’m just fine”.
I beg to differ. Most of those who claim to be just fine are fighting their own demons, whether it’s self esteem or fear of not conforming to society’s ‘norms’.
Disagree? Want to defend your “laying on of hands”? Leave a comment.