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Study Links Spanking and Mental Disorders

The use of physical punishment has been outlawed in thirty countries, but not in the US and Canada. Researchers at the University of Manitoba, Canada set out to determine whether there was a link between the use of non-abusive physical punishment (such as spanking) by parents and the development of mental disorders in those children later in life.

The results show that physical punishment resulted in increased “mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders… Approximately 2% to 5% of Axis I disorders and 4% to 7% of Axis II disorders were attributable to harsh physical punishment.” Data was collected from The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions for over 34,000 US adults.

Read the original article in Pediatrics.