Study links spanking children to dating violence later in life

Children Who Were Spanked More Likely to Be Violent Partners Study

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For many parents, spanking their kids is no big deal.

In plainer terms: Kids who are on the receiving end of spankings may be more likely to lash out and be violent toward future relationship partners - something to think about the next time your toddler has pushed you to the brink for the fifth time in a day.

The result of his study will be published the The Journal of Pediatrics.

The study found that those who were physically disciplined as youngsters committed dating violence at a higher rate than those who were not physically disciplined as children. They asked them about their childhood experiences, physical abuse and their current experiences with dating violence. And of those, 69% say they'd been spanked growing up.

According to UTMB researchers, about 80 percent of children are physically punished worldwide.

Of course, this new study is limited in that it examined a group of less than 1,000 people, and all participants were from Texas. A five-decade study concluded previous year found corporal punishment didn't make children behave in the short term and led to worse behavior later in life.

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Other researchers have found evidence that corporal punishment can be beneficial, however.

"One of the advantages of our study was to control for child abuse, which we defined as being hit with a belt or board, left with bruises that were noticeable or going to the doctor or hospital", Temple said. "Parents are a child's first look at relationships and how conflicts are handled".

Temple said the connection between corporal punishment and dating violence isn't hard to see.

A new study done right here in Houston says spanking can have negative long-term effects.

Temple said many factors can contribute to dating violence, like mental health, attitudes toward women, beliefs about violence, problem-solving skills, availability to weapons and substance use.

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