UTMB study: Spanking may worsen behavior problems

A team of researchers at UTMB Galveston released a study stating that spanking children may worsen behavior problems.

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

Dr. Jeff Temple and a team of researchers at UTMB Galveston have been checking in on a group of about 800 kids throughout the Houston area every year. Now that they're in their late teens and early '20s, he had a new set of question for them.

Had they ever committed some kind of dating violence? 19% said yes. And of those, 69% say they'd been spanked growing up. 

"They might see that as an OK way to resolve conflicts in their adolescent relationships or their adult relationships," said Temple. He says it's easy to understand how that connection forms in the mind of a child whose parents used spanking to correct his or her behavior.

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

Temple says it just adds to the evidence that corporal punishment has negative long-term effects – such as aggression and mental health problems -- despite so many of us saying we were spanked and we're just fine.

"Not only do we want to be 'just fine', we want to better than the previous generation. We want to be healthier and happier," explained Temple.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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