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Two articles on spanking: Spanking lowers IQ; Research from Sweden

KW: Our readers had a vibrant conversation about spanking when I posted an article about spanking being permitted at schools in Missouri. That post, with 23 comments, is: here.

(excerpt from)
Emax Health

Spanking Can Lower
Children’s Intelligence

by Denise Reynolds RD / Sep 25, 2009

Two new studies suggest that children who are spanked have lower IQ’s than those who are not. Both studies were conducted by University of New Hampshire sociologist Murray Straus and will be presented at the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma. [One study is linked: here.]

In the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, parents of approximately 1500 US children between the ages of 2 and 9 were asked about the use of spanking as a form of discipline. Straus and his partner Mallie Paschall of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation analyzed the intelligence scores of those same children four years later. They found that the IQ’s of the younger children in the study who received spanking as discipline was an average of 5 points lower. In the older children, the IQ was almost 3 points lower…

Straus explains that using physical forms of discipline causes chronic stress in children that shows up later as increased post-traumatic stress symptoms…

Straus also analyzed data from a survey given to over 17,000 university students in 32 countries around the world regarding their receipt of spanking as a disciplinary measure…

Many studies over the past 60 years have linked spanking to behavioral issues in children, including aggression, anti-social behavior, and mental health disorders…

Spanking as a form of childhood discipline is also linked to depression, alcohol abuse, anger control issues, and domestic violence later in adulthood, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Child psychologists say that by using other measures of discipline parents teach children higher-level cognitive skills, self-control, and logical thinking. The AAP recommends withholding privileges or issuing a time-out as alternative discipline measures to spanking…

(excerpt from) The Christian Science Monitor
In 30 years without spanking, are Swedish children better behaved?

By Tom Sullivan /October 05, 2009

When celebrating the 30th anniversary of the world’s first national ban on corporal punishment of children last month, Sweden’s social affairs minister, Göran Hägglund, claimed a dramatic success over something many Swedes now consider a scourge.

“Colleagues from other countries often ask how we manage to raise children here without hitting them, but it works,” he said. “Many countries have followed our model but we still have a way to go.”

Sweden was the first of 24 countries to introduce a ban on smacking children in 1979. At the time traditionalists said it would lead to unruly kids, and other critics say the ban would be largely unenforceable. But according to official figures, just 10 percent of Swedish children are spanked or otherwise struck by their parents today. More than 90 percent of Swedish children were smacked prior to the ban.

It is held up as a model by child rights campaigners lobbying for wider adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, on which the Swedish law is based…

She [ Mali Nilsson, at the international charity Save the Children] says that smacking is a human rights issue.

“If you get upset with me about something you don’t have the right to hit me, do you? Then why shouldn’t children enjoy the same rights?” she says, adding that the main purpose of the Swedish law is to change attitudes.

“The law does not actually lay down any legal punishment for smacking but requires social workers to support families with problems…

2 Responses

  1. […] Comments Two articles on span… on Making spanking worse: Spankin…Flower Boy on Environmental Battle Brews in …Alicia […]

  2. All of these studies over the past 40 years have all been linked back to the same man: Murray Straus. In the 1960s, Straus wrote a pamphlet instructing parents to spank their toddlers with a stick. He often used the term \”beat\” when describing this process. Parents were outraged by this and they disregarded his advice after that, since it was pretty clear he was a child abuser. Ever since then Murray has conducted a billion different studies all with the same goal in mind: to prove spanking children is abuse. His purpose in conducting these studies is to save his reputation so he won’t go down in history as a child abuser. These studies are ALL linked back to him. The only purpose in these is for him to earn credibility with the APA, and it really has nothing to do with your family or how you decide to discipline your kids. Murray’s results are PURPOSELY skewed so he can shed his past reputation as a child abuser.

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