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New Study: Spanking Causes Mental Illness

July 3, 2012 by  

New Study: Spanking Causes Mental Illness
New research attributes mental disorders to spanking.

Those who were spanked as children may take a real hit later in life, according to new research. Lead author Tracie Afifi suggests that spanking can cause children to have mood and anxiety disorders and suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. The study appears in Pediatrics.

“There is a significant link between the two,” says Afifi. “Individuals who are physically punished have an increased likelihood of having mental health disorders.” Afifi advises parents that any sort of physical punishment “should not be used on any child, at any age.”

But not everyone in the academic community agrees. Robert Larzelere, a psychologist at Oklahoma State University says, “Certainly, overly severe physical punishment is going to have adverse effects on children. But for younger kids, if spanking is used in the most appropriate way and the child perceives it as being motivated by concern for their behavior and welfare, then I don’t think it has a detrimental effect.”

Larzelere, who published a study in 2005 in defense of spanking, believes the latest study doesn’t actually prove what it claims. “The motivation that the child perceives and when and how and why the parent uses (spanking) makes a big difference. All of that is more important than whether it was used or not.”

Spanking is illegal in 32 countries.


Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.

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  • Liz N.

    Notice discipline problems have risen from when these “studies” came out?

    • Donald Chambliss

      It takes 30% of your time to tell Johnny no and one second to slap his hand and correct his behavior. This studie must be another government grant. We have more people in prison than any country in the world and this guy is telling me this. I’ll be 66 the fourth of July and it took 3 times with a paddle in school and I was a good boy from then on. Now we have diversity and all the liberal garbage they can think up. And the kids can’t even graduate from school. BS

      • Maryland Freestater


        I went K-12 to the same Catholic school and got spanked in front of my class for a minor infraction. The truly humiliating aspect of this was having to then sit like a dunce in fromnt of the first-grade class. I NEVER misbehaved (or got caught, heeheehee!) the rest of my school tenure.

        I DID have a huge problem with serving in the navy because I couldn’t reconcile my Catholic upbringing with naval philosophy: Sr. Damien punished you to make you a better God-fearing Catholic citizen, whereas the Navy punished you for getting caught.

      • carolinerh

        Gee, I come from a BIG family and none of us suffered these problems but grew up and started businesses. I have graduate degrees and have traveled widely and speak more than one language. Gee, are we the nuts these idiots claim? I think they should have been spanked and disciplined in order to grow normal and sane and not a liberal or Demo. Dr. Spock did more damage than my parents because we were spanked, disciplined and yelled at, just like good parents should do. It prepares you for the real world everywhere!

      • CJ

        After proper punishment, usually a mental state of ‘guilt over a misdead’ is instilled. To liberals, this guilt is mental illness.

      • Aaron Freeman

        I got my ass whipped when I was bad… I suffer no mental illness, nor do I go out and commit crimes (unless you consider vandalism of liberal propaganda a crime!)! I say to those countries that have outlawed spanking; your kids are the most misbehaved kids on the planet! Obviously, they’ve never read Heinlein!

    • gracie

      Liz, I totally agree with your statement. Just look at how kids are today mainly because they are not disciplined. On top of that, they can no longer bow their heads in silence to pray to their God while at school. Schools are no longer allowed to discipline students because of fear of losing their jobs. It makes me sick to see young boys walking down a street with their pants hanging below their buttocks showing their underwear. These kids will be running our Country. People think it is bad now, wait until these unruly kids are in charge of the Country. No respect for anyone and watch out if you try to correct one of them. Watch out!!!! Spanking will cause mental illness.

      • Ladybug

        I was spanked and hit with the buckle of my father’s belt, very, very often and I was always blamed for what my brothers did; I am now a grandmother and I am fiercely independent, I have a very clear and good working mind, I have taken care of myself and my 2 kids without help, except from a live-in maid whom I paid to take care of my house and kids while I worked a full time job, I am a professional and I have never, ever had a victim’s mentality. I only spanked my kids 2 or 3 times and it had a huge effect on them, no more bad behavior, they are normal, independent persons and have no victim mentality.
        Spanking would do this world a wonder of good! not the belt buckle spanking I received which was uncalled for and unjustified, but a healthy slap on the butt now and then when necessary! it does wonders if not used too often!
        That would end a lot of theft, drug use, promiscuity, prostitution, bullying, etc. etc. and erstore the morals of the country.

        • gracie

          Ladybug, You are so right. Bring back a swat on the butt. Kids learn more from that than “time outs” or trying to talk to them. When my children were little, I would get lots of compliments on how well behaved they were. They got swats on the butt every now and then. It did not damage them, it made them better citizens.

      • David169

        Thank you for a sane response to this insane article. I believe as children we must learn that there are swift and sure unpleasant consequences to breaking the rules. This carries into adult life as swift and sure consequences for breaking the law. The time proven total failure of Dr. Spock’s opinion on child care should have prevented a re-hash of his principles.

  • Steve

    Yipee! More Psycobabble!

    • Warrior

      Hmmm, looks like an issue to be brought up at the UN!

      • Sirian

        LOL!!! Lord that’s good!!! LOL!!! :)

      • Buster the Anatolian

        I am sure your comment was intended as satire Warrior but lets leave the UN the h&ll out of it.

  • oldbill

    I always erred on the side of being wrong about spanking. Both my kids make twice as much as I ever did and neither has been to jail or prison. People who don’t spank and try to reason with their children deserve the results they get.

    • Ken


      I concur sir. Congratulations on your great common-sense, loving your children and giving them the loving discipline they needed.

      I’m sure both your children love and appreciate all you have done for them (especially when they look at others their age)!


  • Ken


    What a load of bu**sh*t!

    Look at these kid’s today that receive no discipline and you’ll see what happens when you

    listen to these(expletive deleted) studies!!!!

    One of the worst things to happen was when “Dr. Spock” released his book in the 7O’S

    LITERALLY DESTROYING OUR SOCIETY by removing discipline in the household.

    Those of us with WW2 generation parent’s generally didn’t have that problem as we

    received the discipline they knew to give us.

    A great article on the damage Spock and those who foolishly listened to him is listed

    below – he was obviously courted by “them” as an “authority” to incite this wave

    foolishness. Incidentally, before Benjamin Spock died he regretted the state and condition

    of our society – which he admitted he was the cause of.




    • J Gordon

      Try growing up with Grandparents who survived the great depression, the paddle was always a threat, never to be tested. Best thing about it, it had holes drilled through it to make it leave marks. I’ve been tempted to make one to use as an intimidation tool with my kids

      • Ken

        HA! Maybe we should make one for some of the nitwit’s who hang out and post here Gordon! ; )

  • http://yahoo Paul

    I have four children two males and two females, going boy, girl, boy, girl. Each of them were disaplend all four of them in a manner which would do them the most good.

    The oldest one, male, I never had to spank, But I did tell him what he did and how it effected the rest of the family, He is the smart one, now college grad,

    The second (dow child) would get her hand smacked, She also has graduated High School.

    The other two have received spanking and only one of them did we ever have any trouble out of, the male. They tried to blame me, because he sexually abused a small girl. The youngest graduated junior college is married and has a 9 year daughter.

    I do not beleive that spanking is the cause of the troubles that these kids get into. I beleive it is the LACK OF IT, that is the problem.

    • Robert Smith

      “I have four children two males and two females, going boy, girl, boy, girl.”

      A friend of mine has three adult kids. One of each.


      • Opal the Gem

        Another inane useless comment from robert smith.

      • BDK3966

        Wobby – you are the perfect example of a liberal [offensive term removed].
        Don’t you have a GBLT parade to organize or march in instead of being a condesending pain in the ass to everyone whose opinion differs from yours?

    • Elli

      Well since he cheated on his wife with the losbiybt, Then cheated on both his wife and the losbiybt with a second woman Then was STUPID enuf to openly brag about it, Till even the other GOPers in California, stripped him of his leadership positions He was in , no real power left to use to get chicks . in a reich wing repubies mind why stay?

  • Ken


    What a load of bu**sh*t!

    Look at these kid’s today that receive no discipline and you’ll see what happens when you

    listen to these so-called studies?!!!!

    One of the worst things to happen was when “Dr. Spock” released his book in the 7O’S

    LITERALLY DESTROYING OUR SOCIETY by removing discipline in the household.

    Those of us with WW2 generation parent’s generally didn’t have that problem as we

    received the discipline they knew to give us. Those of us with enough of what could be

    called “common sense” or the ability to know your own mind, trust yourself to know “right

    from wrong” did what was needed for their children and NOT because it was the easy thing

    to do!

    A great article on the damage Spock and those who foolishly listened to him is listed

    below – he was obviously courted by “them” as an “authority” to incite this wave

    foolishness. Incidentally, before Benjamin Spock died he regretted the state and condition

    of our society – which he admitted he was the cause of.




    • Robert Smith

      Shucks you should get your facts straight: “Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Throughout its first 52-years, Baby and Child Care was the second-best-selling book, next to the Bible.[1]”

      IOW, it’s MY generation that is now on the threshold of retirement who’s parents got what Spock had to say.

      I’m quite sure the rest of your screed is just as laced with errors.


      • Ken


        Ya know Wobby, I was going to post your name as a perfect example – not to be malicious

        mind you, but just as a matter of fact!

        Yeah, it was the best selling book next to the bible and Spock STILL regretted the impact

        of his work MANY YEARS LATER and he ADMITTED HE WAS WRONG! What does that

        tell you jerky?!

        Because Spock admitted he was wrong (even though he made millions in the process!)

        and he admitted he was wrong because he saw the many nimrods his work produced….

        such as yourself!

        Your a beauty Wobby, and a perfect example of what’s wrong with people today….hell, if

        you were my kid I’d kick your @$$! (and probably even if you weren’t!).

      • Ken


        Here’s an excerpt from the article that explains Spock’s mentality and explains how your behavior;

        “In 1972, Spock’s imbalanced view of child rearing became greatly apparent when he entered the presidential race as the candidate for the socialistic People’s Party. Anyone who embraces socialism is clueless to a key element of proper parenting – personal responsibility.” (Reb Bradley 2012)

  • Rebecca

    Whether spanking causes mental illness or not, I do not know. But it deters further misbehavior. Children will run over you if you will let them. Case in point:

    When my daughter was 11 she decided that she would get physical with me and shoved me. When I finished spanking her with a switch she decided that it had been a bad idea. She has never placed her hands on me in anything other than a loving gesture again.

    • Ken

      @ Rebecca;

      I acknowledge you for your commitment to your daughter and for disciplining her when she needed it – now if you would give Wobby a spanking we’d all be better off! Maybe he’d learn some manners and some common sense! ; )

      • Rebecca

        I think he is a lost cause. I choose to ignore.

    • S C Frank Taylor

      My father didn’t do formal spankings for specific misbehavior. If we started arguing and I annoyed him he’d take off his belt and hit me with it anywhere he could reach. One day I hit back with a good kick to his gut. He never hit me again. I guess showing someone who’s bigger and stronger does work.
      I was actually a very well-behaved girl and never got into real trouble. My dad and I simply didn’t get along.

      • Grammy

        You were not spanked. You were abused. Anger is not a valid reason for striking a child. Spanking is a punishment for a misdeed performed by a parent who cares about the direction his child is growing.

      • Ken

        I concur with Grammy S C – you were abused. Discipline is done with a level head and out of necessity and love, not out of anger.

        I’m sorry you experienced such treatment at the hands of someone you were meant to trust and love. Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean your father doesn’t love you even though his actions at those moments didn’t speak for his love.

    • Ken

      Ha,ha,hahhahaaha! ; )

  • Steve E

    The people I know that have not been spanked at some time or another are the ones to have mood and anxiety disorders. Not the ones that have been spanked (not talking about abused)

  • Rose Layard

    Go back to the Book of Life our Holy Bible. God created us and knows what we need to be decent people. Trouble is these days everybody breaks His rules and wonder why our kids are wayward. I got spanked for wrong-doing and I didn’t repeat my naughtiness.Dr Spock was an advocate from hell!

  • arlo

    I was chewing gum in my art class in high school and I got swats, now I swallow my food whole for fear I will get spanked by my wife.

  • James

    When I was in Junior High School, I used to have a Shop Teacher, who would pair everyone guy up by weight and size and have us arm wrestle, if you lost you got a lick from his paddle. Made us tougher, and no one was more brain damaged then they already naturely was. I know you won’t believe this but we also had a Winter Conditioning Program in High School where they would again size you up and you would box with boxing gloves for a minute round. No one complained or went home crying to Mommy. When I did something wrong and got my arse beat, I was certainly not that stupid to go home and tell my parents about it and then get beat again. Socialists woozies all around us now.

    • Ken

      The feminization of our man-children has been in effect for decades now and you can see

      the result from one of those who posted above.

      You couldn’t imagine what the Russians think of us – they laugh at how pathetic we are on

      a regular basis.

  • jopa

    James;And then if you went on to Penn state and Sandusky got hold of your behind you would probably not tell your parents would you.One thing we have always done with our kids was very minimal spanking and a great open line of communication that still goes on today.Not the spanking part.Our kids today would make any parent proud of their accomplishments.All six kids have college degrees and working with families.This is one great country to live that dream and when you figure out it’s not about you but about the kids it will put a smile of success on your face.

    • rutie

      If what you say id true why is it that 90% of the college students have no respect for adults. They are rude, ignorant and just don’t care. They all feel we owe them something.
      who’s fault is that, the parents for not disciplining them and spoiling them. If I wanted something expensive I worked for it. Not these kids give me a 300.00 coach bag, give me 300 ugh’s. Give me a break. God help this country.

    • Ken

      @ jopa;

      It’s great that you used and taught communication skills with your children jopa – I use communication skills with my children as well.

      I’ve found that keeping my word with them works very, very well….for instance, when I say we’re going out for ice cream, we go out for ice cream. When I say “I’m only saying this one time – the next time I have to say it…..well, you get the picture.

      Everyone loves mine – they’re polite, considerate and just great people. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual but using you love along with a little common sense and discipline goes a long way. Letting your kid’s do whatever they want whenever they want?! you looking for a boatload of trouble as they grow older.

      In our wonderful state several months ago, a young boy murdered his mom and dad (stabbed them to death) then stuffed their bodies into a septic system…..I knew people who knew him and the kid was spoiled rotten. It’s our responsibility to teach them and what you put into them is what you get out of them!!!

  • Nan E Puckett

    Ken, I LOVE your remarks! You’ve gotten it right & I’m so glad you gave Wobby a good ‘spanking’! Now in my 60′s, over the years I’ve grown to appreciate more & more my mom & dad’s discipline when we were growing up. They never hesitated to dish it out & I mean either a spanking or as they called it, a switching–either way, the impact was unforgettable & I assure you, the behavior that instituted it, never happened again. I’ve also reflected on the fact that neither of them had one moments anquish over your little psyche & whether it would be harmful in the future–they didn’t succumb to society’s crap about physical discipline–they just went about their lives & raised their FIVE kids to be useful, independent, moral & honest adults—would that parents today would follow the same path—our country & its leadership would be far different, don’tcha think?

  • Corsica

    Afifi advises parents that any sort of physical punishment “should not be used on any child, at any age.” Who the fk is this pompous ass to dictate to anybody on how to discipline their children? It’s amazing how these smug nobodies think they are the ultimate authority. I have a friend whose daughter was a nasty little brat but they thought it was just her way of being and even amusing. They never touched her. Today she’s a nasty, rude, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered teenager that causes her parents nothing but grief. Oh and she lies, steals etc etc.

    • Nan E Puckett

      Corsica, had one of those ‘nasty, rude, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered teenagers’ at my house this weekend, along with a spoiled rotten 7-yr. old that took it on herself to invade my upstairs bedroom, leave closet doors open & who knows what else, AFTER I had told her NOT to go up there! The teen’s grandmother was here but did she say one word to this self-absorbed brat? Nope, instead she catered to her every whim. The 7-yr. old played her dad like a fiddle, while the mom simply ignored her. Frankly, I don’t care if they never darken my door again & if they do, I won’t hesitate to let ‘em know that I’m not going to put up with their rude, discourteous & snotty behavior, parents & grandparents notwithstanding–in fact, I’m wondering if our putting up with this stuff, just enables ‘em to keep it up…

      • LAB

        Um, for starters Nan, 7 is NOT a teenager…also, they were in YOUR HOME, YOUR RULES! If that were me, I would have followed the brat and enforced the rule by refusing this unruly snot her way…also, if that did not work, ALL would have had to leave immediately unless one of the idiots had some control over the situation. No return invitation required!~ FTARDS!

    • LAB

      No need to BEAT right and wrong into anyone, a simple explanation and follow through on any and all “threat” of repricussion is all it takes…very easy to learn from denial of something or removal from the situation…beating takes a moment, TEACHING THE LESSON Takes Time!

  • Nobody’s Fool

    Everyone but Wobby knows the truth of this matter. And poor Wobby will never learn. He is what’s called a liberal. He believes in socialism, where no one gets to keep what they earn (including him, but he doesn’t realize that yet). I have been a school teacher for 30 years and I can first-hand tell you what a difference the lack of discipline has made in schools AND in the ability of children to learn. Every child needs to learn self-discipline, and the purpose of spanking is to introduce to them the idea that what they did to deserve a spanking was not a good choice. Therefore, they will self-discipline next time, and choose something better. In schools, the kids come into kindergarten knowing they cannot be told “no”, and they are already little tyrants. It does not improve with time, and let me tell you, the “fear” of having their name on the board with marks for bad behavior is absolutely no deterrent. As a result, education does not take place in schools anymore. Thus the exponential growth of home schooling, where parents have control of what their children learn and how they learn it.

  • SJJolly

    “Individuals who are physically punished have an increased likelihood of having mental health disorders.” Maybe parents who have mental health issues are more likely to spank, and to have kids who have mental health issues regardless of discipline method?

    If physical punishment can create mental health issues, what about out and out physical abuse?

    • Jazzabelle

      SJJolly wrote: “Maybe parents who have mental health issues are more likely to spank, and to have kids who have mental health issues regardless of discipline method?”

      That’s possible. I heard once that 90% of Americans say they were spanked at least once in their childhood, and if you ask prison inmates the same question, guess what? 90% of them were also spanked as children! Makes ya wonder, how would ultra-successful people answer that question??

      SJJolly wrote: “If physical punishment can create mental health issues, what about out and out physical abuse?”

      I am sure that could cause mental health issues. In fact, we know that the most serious forms of abuse cause dissociation, multiple personalities, PTSD, etc. etc. Abuse and discipline are two completely different animals. As the article suggests, a huge part of the equation is how the child interprets the discipline. Is it motivated by love and concern, or is it lashing out in anger or revenge?

  • AK Tom

    I wonder how many of todays “occutards” got spanked as children?

  • Jim Dunlap

    So does masterbation and you’ll grow a black hair in the palm of your hand. It’s about the dumbess study I have ever heard. A good butt busting will help straighten out a lot of these unruly kids. That’s my belief and I’m sticking to it…..

  • Junk Bin

    liberalism is a mental disorder. part of the cause is being raised to feel entitled and another is that there are no consequences for actions.

  • hambone

    kids and puppies need the right discipline.
    If you take a look at the animal world (and we are animals) the mother will let the cub,kit,joey,etc.. know what is right and what isn’t. A mother dog will growl at first, then if that doesn’t work then she will nip the pup to say hey that’s enough of that. The mother doesn’t hurt her offspring. Humans can take a lesson from the other animals in how to discipline the young. I do think that the way things are now if more hurtful to the mind of the young then a good spanking any day.

  • LAB

    Discipline is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, HOWEVER, hitting is NOT! I raised a step-daughter from age 4 ~ she’s now 30 and NEVER ONCE HIT HER…she is a major success, has a fantastic job, gets even better offers consistantly, she has her MB and is a warm and compassionate young woman. She also has the same wonderments in life that most her age do and handles herself admirably no matter where she is. I was hit, slapped, beat with a belt and berated most of my life (60 now) and the abuse never ends. I only get it from my parents as THEY are the mentally ill ones, not me. It’s who you choose to be and how you choose to be…the rest is horse hooey!

  • William

    Actually , the exact opposite is true ! In Proverbs it says , ” Spare the rod , HATE your child .” I know 2 young “men”, different parents , neither was disciplined at all . Both are depressed , suicidel , miserable , will not work , and the parents have mental disorders also ! This mental disorder has gotten worse since the “Discipline will cause the child to have low self esteem” crowd took over ! The Liberal NUT JOBS are causing the mental illness in children by going against nature and nature’s God !

  • daniel

    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Sometimes the straight line from the parents mouth to the child’s ears goes by way of the rear. It is kinder and gentler to use a swat to correct behaviour or to stop an action than it not to. Examples are prison or injury.

  • Richard Plewa

    The Bible says spare the rod spoil the child, worked for century’s . Do we need more proof the experts are full of (expletive deleted).

    • 45caliber

      The “experts” are finding the thing they were told to find. That doesnt’ necessarily mean it is true. It is like Mark Twain once said, “There are lies, bad lies, and statistics.”

      These “experts” use statistics. You can prove anything with those. For instance, Texas A&M is reputed to have found that pickles are bad for you. Every person who ate one prior to 1880 has died. This PROVES pickles are bad for you!

      • Meteorlady

        They also found that if you cut four legs off a frog it’s deaf.

  • http://peresonallibertydigest.. gottaplenty

    Ill’ state this again,,, I would suspect that our supreme court members and congress are victins of spanking ,based on the study.

    • Mike Austin

      Wrong. The liberals probably were not. they have no common sense and no repsect for consequences.

  • jopa

    I realize many of you were spanked as children but I don’t think it stopped there.I believe many of you were also smacked in the back of the head which is so apparent by your posts.The heading for this article is about mental retardation and how you were beaten as kids.It is now up to you folks to begin the process of stopping this beating and try and reduce the mental illnesses within your future generations.Stop beating your children and grand children and come into the civilized world, America cannot afford your abuse and the children should not have to suffer at your hands as you have by the hand of your father.

    • Meteorlady

      I have a master’s in Economics and I was beaten as a child – a lot when I misbehaved. I also an over-achiever and an innovator because when I sat in the corner I had lots to think about.

      • jopa

        meteor;All this bragging may not be true,It might just be in your head.Did you think about that if you are able to?

    • Michael G

      “realize many of you were spanked as children but I don’t think it stopped there.”

      Yes, all of me was spanked as a child but never since then. Your lack of thinking it is irrelevant of course.

      “I believe many of you were also smacked in the back of the head which is so apparent by your posts.”

      I was often smacked in the back of my head by school bullies. How exactly are you able to discern that from my post? Is it the correct spelling, good grammar or complete sentence structure of my writing that gives it away?

      “The heading for this article is about mental retardation and how you were beaten as kids.”

      I have an IQ of 140, a perfect 4.0 GPA, completed an exemplary military career and am raising a family. What do YOU have?

      “It is now up to you folks to begin the process of stopping this beating”

      It isn’t a “process”. You advocate abandoning a natural process that nearly all mammals use to prepare the next generation for real life in the real world.

      “and try and reduce the mental illnesses within your future generations.”

      I have thought of ways to accomplish that. Fewer Democrats would be a good start but that’s a symptom, not the cause.

      However, it is not for you to say how I raise my children. That is socialist thinking; and while you doubtless consider yourself the expert and the elite, it may turn out that the socialist that tells you what to do does not actually care what you think.

      • jopa

        MichaelG;Are you having visions of grandeur again?You may be in a fantasy world and everything is just an illusion.

        • Michael G

          “You may be in a fantasy world and everything is just an illusion.”

          Including you of course ;-)

          On a more serious note; I have indeed considered the possibility that I am living in a fantasy world. I am not alone in this contemplation, the movie “Matrix” is a good exploration of the same idea, and “Inception” explores some of that same ground.

          Good character is shown by how a person acts giving the situation apparently before him. Whether it is a simulation in someone else’s mind, or in a computer, makes no difference in the demonstration of good character.

          Therefore, if I am in an illusion, so are my children, and so are you; and I will act according to what I consider good and wise, and if they also are illusions, then why do you think you have a right to challenge me?

        • Michael G

          Jopa, I am glad that you are here. Otherwise it would be 100 percent in favor of discipline with no dissenting voices. Never mind you seem to be wrong; it is useful and necessary for meaningful dialog to have dissenting voices.

          The assertion is that spanking leads to mental retardation and behavioral problems. A single anecdote to the contrary means almost nothing unless the claim was that spanking ALWAYS leads to these outcomes; in which case a single contrary example disproves the assertion.

          However, the majority of responses here suggest that the thesis is wrong, completely backwards in fact. Most of us here that were spanked as children appear to have become well educated, responsible citizens.

          You can see by my writing an example of what I mean. You need not even challenge my assertions; you have it before your face right now. My writing is more complete and comprehensive than yours. Perhaps you will decide I must not have been spanked, and that is entirely up to you to rewrite your own illusion however you please; but insofar that these ideas become public policy, I must — even if its all just a dream — act within the confines of that illusion to move public policy in a way that is more favorable to responsible parenting, which most certainly includes reasonable spanking or other creative consequences in lieu of the actual, and sometimes fatal natural consequence.

          It is the job of a parent to NOT allow children to pursue all of their desires. I have a puppy, and the puppy wants to eat EVERYTHING that can possibly fit in her mouth. Many things are dangerous and cannot be permitted. Rather than teaching my puppy to read warning labels on household products, it is more likely to succeed to teach my puppy not to eat ANYTHING unless I give it to her for that purpose.

          Pain programs the human brain quickly and more or less permanently. How many times have you gotten an electric shock playing with electricity? Probably not more than once. How many times have you been stung by bees running barefoot where bees live? I was stung twice before I was sufficiently programmed not to run barefoot in clover. How many times have you burned your hand over a stove or candle? Not more than once I imagine.

          Vaccinations produce a mild form of the very illness you are to be protected from. That is how your body learns to recognize a pathogen. Spanking is one of several forms of unpleasantness designed to immunize a child against dangerous behavior.

        • Michael G

          Jopa, after declaring a few of my credentials, I asked you to declare yours. I see that you have chosen not to do so.

          Were you NOT spanked as a child, and as a result of that, has your lack of discipline caused you to not achieve much in society?

          Where are the contrary examples? To be sure, a few people here claim to have raised successful children without spanking, and I have no doubt that on occasion it can be done if you are lucky enough.

          Where might one be able to raise children without spanking? Alaska comes to mind. There, the natural consequences tend to be immediate and sometimes fatal. A child that manages to reach adulthood has already been disciplined by nature.

          Did the captain of the Concordia suffer from excessive discipline, or a lack of discipline? It would seem that running a cruise ship aground demonstrates a lack of discipline, certainly a lack of obedience to well-established navigating rules and procedures which suggest a lack of discipline.

          In a high-rise apartment building, not many natural consequences exist. Parents must teach children to obey laws and rules designed for their safety knowing that their children will be nearly adult by the time they exercise any privilege dangerous to them, such as driving an automobile.

          In such places, spanking is MORE likely to be useful and needed, and yet it is in those cities with high rise apartments that you most often find liberal democrats that wish for themselves and all others to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and as the song goes, “I want it ALL and I want it NOW.”

  • 45caliber

    Actually, not spanking does more to cause mental harm. It convinces the child that they can do whatever they wish and that all others are placed here on earth to be their victims. And when they grow up, they retain that belief which results in crime and more victims. Spanking causes brain damage? Only if the person doing the spanking hits the wrong end – or the child has his brains in the wrong end.

    Spanking is administering mild pain to the part of the body that can withstand it. The problem is that liberals believe that ALL sorts of punishment is “spanking”. A beating isn’t a spanking. I’ve had both.

  • 45caliber

    Is Dr. Spock still alive? This sounds like something he would do. I always thought it was funny; he was the “expert” on raising a child – and never had one of his own to raise until after he was 60.

    • Jazzabelle

      Didn’t Dr. Spock’s son commit suicide?

  • chester

    To all those who think you can TELL a three year old anything and have him or her remember what you said or why you said it ten minutes later had best go meet some real three year olds, and not study what they are “supposed” to be capable of out of someone else’s book. In real life, a quick smack on the bottom when a kid reaches for a hot pan on the stove will do more good than taking their hand and TELLING them that they can get hurt doing that. The same is true for even 8 to 12 month old kids when you are holding them and they reach for your glasses. Which are they more apt to remember in such a manner that it keeps them from doing it again to you or someone else, a quick swat on the hand and a firm NO, or gently taking the child’s hand and moving it away from your face as you tell it that it shouldn’t reach for glasses? It has been my experience that even the little ones remember a quick smack a LOT better than they do all the gentle words.

  • FreedomFighter

    Another liberal sponsored BS study. Hmmm…20 to 30 thousand years of parents spanking children… new study shows its wrong…

    Can you say Bull C#@!

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • HKaufman

    Tracie Afifi suggests that spanking can cause children to have mood and anxiety disorders and suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. The study appears in Pediatrics.
    Message for Tracie: Bull**** the book of DR SPOCK works wonders,, Maybe Tracie should READ the D** book. From a family of 5 3 brothers in front and 2 girls in back, we all got our share in the END. WE raised between the 5 of us 11 kids and used the Book Of SPOCK, not the Vulcan Spock. Now those individuals have children and not a ONE: REPEAT again for TRACIE: not a one have any Mental challenges from BEING SPANKED,If the parents of those in Congress would have used the Book, their spawn would turned out better then they are now. Giving a child a timeout, what the hell is that nonsense about??–The only timeouts are in Football,BasketBall,Darts,Horseshoes and an overload of Commercials on TV…Geez Us, what the hell is wrong with you that advocate TIME OUT.

    Here is a novel thought, and i know every one heard one time or two, You do the Crime, you do the time.. Change attitude and adopt the bring it dont sing it the young one would not be walking around with PANTS ON THE GROUND looking like the Fool with PANTS on the Ground, want to walk around with pants on the Ground, you will get swat on the ANUS that will bring Pants off the Ground and worn around the waist.

  • Ron

    Tracie Afifi obviously does not live in the world of reality. And, I should expect has little or no practical experience in the raining of children.

  • Ron

    Strike “raining” and insert “raising”. My speller is not working well, today.

  • dcjdavis

    Spoiled children who grow up with no discipline become miserable adults. Children who have been disciplined too hard and too often may also grow up to be miserable adults. There is a healthy middle ground to be found, and any evidence that spankings don’t don’t sometimes fall into that space is drummed up by people who have some interest in wreaking havoc upon society.
    If telling a child “no” isn’t working, or if talking it out and explaining why or why not isn’t working, then spanking is likely the greater incentive the child needs to know that he or she is to listen up and behave. Those who do not receive proper discipline as a child because someone was too soft to do what was needed tend to learn lessons the hard way later in life.

    • 45caliber

      And many of them learn those lessons later in life when they go to jail for harming someone else.

  • JimH

    There is a difference between abuse and a swat on the behind to get the childs attention.
    As a kid I made the stupid mistake of telling Dad “that didn’t hurt”. I found out he was holding back.
    From then on, even if it didn’t hurt I said , “ow”.

  • Benjamin Fox

    God who knows all and created humans says, “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, I’ll take His Word over dumb humans.

    • Gracie

      Benjamin, I agree with you 100%. Roger probably has kids that no one wants to be around because of the way they behave.

  • ROGEr, Irish-Canadian LIBERTARIAN

    I haven’t read one rational opinion about NOT spanking and I dont know anything about Dr.Spock BUT NOW i can understand why Americans are so “war-like”…we reap what we sow in life….

    ….. I dont spank my children and they are wondeful, intelligent well-behaved little people……If you spank a child you are teaching him/her that the solution to problems is VIOLENCE. Yes it takes more time to teach him/her good, fair and sensible behaviour without spanking but it is well -worth it.

    I cant wait to read the RED-NECK, Anti-Canadian response to this typical and WAR-LIKE!!!

    • Michael G

      “I haven’t read one rational opinion about NOT spanking”

      Including what you have just written ;-)

      “I dont know anything about Dr.Spock”

      Dr. Spock is famous for persuading millions of people that children will raise themselves just fine, sort of like cats, give them food three times a day and never ever hit a child and they’ll turn out wonderful. About 10 percent of the time it probably works that way but demonstrably most of the time it is a disaster. All mammalian forms of life use some form of capital punishment on their offspring; the mechanism seems to program the glial cells in the brain as to what is right and acceptable and what is not.

      “BUT NOW i can understand why Americans are so ‘war-like’…we reap what we sow in life….”

      Then you understand nothing, for there is no such thing as an “American”. Some ar war like, some are not.

      Shall I make the same idiotic remark about Canadians? What exactly do I mean by “Canadian?” are you an Athabascan native? Probably not, in which case you are an “import” same as nearly everyone else, but apparently a bit less informed than most.

      “I dont spank my children and they are wondeful, intelligent well-behaved little people”

      Lucky you.

      “If you spank a child you are teaching him/her that the solution to problems is VIOLENCE.”

      Indeed. I am glad you understand the concept. Even the Canadians have an ARMED FORCE. Diplomacy works but only when implicit or explicit is a threat of violence if the diplomacy fails.

      “Yes it takes more time to teach him/her good, fair and sensible behaviour without spanking but it is well-worth it.”

      So, oh wise one, what do you do when it does NOT work, which it won’t in the case of a narcissist? You see, there is absolutely no reason NOT to seek advantage over your neighbors, lie cheat and steal if you can get away with it, which you most certainly will if there is no punishment!

      Your approach teaches children they can do anything they want. As it happens, SOME children — like good puppy dogs — want to please others. This is uncommon. More common — like bad puppy dogs — is mischief and self-seeking behavior.

      “I cant wait to read the RED-NECK, Anti-Canadian response to this typical and WAR-LIKE!!!”

      Yup. Here it is.

    • Benjamin Fox

      None so dumb, as those who are blind. Spanking a child doesn’t bred people of war later on, that is a foolish statement at best. I have two daughters and highly educated yet I only had to spank them a few times, they learned, I don’t make threats and carry through with what I say I’ll do, one look and didn’t have to do anything.

  • http://Yahoo George

    I was one of eight children (4 boys, 4 girls)
    My mother had plenty of anger when we seemed to “forget” that last “lesson”.
    The last “lesson” was promptly “reminded” the offender with another “pain” prescription.
    We all became quite “trained” quickly.
    I related these childhood experiences to my two young daughters. ( I always exaggerated the part of the “pain”part.) It worked!! I never ever had the opportunity to strike my children.
    Suggestion to new parents: Practice this “severe pain” act with groaning, crying, recall of being locked in your room for full weekends without any radio, TV, telephone, music, etc.
    Practice with the other parent so you can REALLY put on a great act worthy of a Great Parent Acting Award.
    When your children are young adults, then, put on a great “Show” of how to train up their own children!
    Wasn’t it Shakespeare who said, “Everyone loves a show!!”

  • Professor

    This crap started with Dr. Spock (whose third wife I arrested once for water skiing nude)and responsible behavior by children and young adults has been heading downhill ever since. The warm and fuzzy liberals have essentially destroyed what was once the greatest nation on earth and it started with undisciplined children. The book he wrote should have been banned. He was an idiot and the liberal sociologists are as nutty as he was. Proper discipline, including spanking, works miracles and does not result in mentally disturbed children. Not being disciplined results in mentally disturbed alcoholics and drug addicts.

  • Meteorlady

    HELP! I’M MENTALLY ILL!!! I WAS BEATEN….as a child.

    • jopa

      Meteor;Wow you finally went for therapy.Best of luck with that.

  • JerryWheelerWroteThis

    This has to be one of the worst ‘researches’ ever.. I guess everybody over the age of forty are walking psychotics.. When I was young i got my butt spanked quite often.. I was challenging authority and because of the consequence I learned many, many lessons of fairness, humbleness and equality.. I didn’t run around watching other snot nosed bullies defy integrity and joined the pack. Today it’s no longer packs, it’s individuals that can at any time become mobs. Where in the hell did this person receive her doctorate? People like this read books.. Books can’t define real life, only the life the writer dreams of and the reader falls for. I’ll never use any problem that I may come down with on being punished when I was being taught right and wrong and parents today are shunning the responsibility to show in action what comes from disobedience.. Their not helping their children, their simply sacrificing their kids future by refraining to be seen as the bad guy..

  • Professor

    All the experts here!!! And most living in the south with little to do but ostrasize the people of science.If everyone would just wake up and read their bible, everything would be wonderful and perfect. Delusional !!! And that includes you, Mr. Crystal !!!

  • Grace

    Although I have not read all I have read most and fully agree with each one of them that I read. I don’t have children of my own but have worked with children since I was 14 years old. I can clearly tell those children who are properly disciplined at home and those who are not from the first day I have them. As a gymnastics coach I have had to use the time out method and it works to a point. Of course that is a different setting than even school where 98% of the time it is the child’s choice to be there and missing an activity is not desirable. I also take the time to explain / discus with them after the consequence why they had to sit out and I bring in the aspect is more fun to listen and be able to keep participating. In a coaching setting children that ARE disciplined at home you usually only have to sit out once if even that often a warning is all it takes but most of those that ARE NOT disciplined at home or don’t care if they are there they can sit out any number of times and it doesn’t matter.

    Proper discipline at home DOES matter. A spanking for wrong doing is actually helpful.

    As for myself I along with my sisters were raised with spanking and we each turn out fine. In fact my parents have been complimented for the way they raised me by several of my employers. My mom will tell the story of asking me “Do you want / need to get a spanking?” and my answer invariable would be “YES”. I am prof that children want and need that discipline.

    • Michael G

      Excellent comment. Many people require some sort of “penance” to atone for a wrong they accept they have done. Merely forgiving such a person denies the opportunity to atone and sets the stage for serious problems later in life.

      I am a Navy Chief. Firm discipline works miracles and a person given carte blanche for 20 years can sometimes be turned around in mere days with firm discipline combined with genuine caring; two things that usually go together. I had a young black woman that came under my charge and she was as rebellious and obstinate as could possibly be. As soon as she came under my charge I put her on report. Everyone was amazed that I was willing to handle the hot potato — gender and race sensitivities — but the result was profound and almost immediate. Within a week her attitude improved, her work habits improved and her natural talents started to become manifest.

      PUNISHMENT, of any kind, was the proof she needed that anyone cared! Maybe that’s warped, but it is what it is. It sets the boundaries of what others will tolerate, and once those boundaries are established, one is free to be free within those boundaries. Until then, one is not really free since you may have trespassed and are just waiting for the consequence — a possibility that is very unsettling!

      All that I have said does NOT pertain to narcissists, however. A narcissist has no empathy, no desire to please others and no desire to obey. One thing only sets boundaries on a narcissist and that is fear of consequence, and sometimes not even that is sufficient. Curiously, fear is also the thing that sometimes creates narcissism in the first place. In that situation, a firmly structured discipline reduces fear, and by so doing, also narcissism, as everyone knows the boundaries.

  • http://yahoo charlene

    until you get these know it all do gooders that does no, good and the people stop listing to these these nut cases people will be better off. its the obama thing, dont take responablety for anything you do, blame someone else.time to take down the dems. who pay for this crap. oh , ya this is one of those oblames jobs. got to get this NUT OUT OF OFFICE,

  • nanc

    AND who are these idiots.

  • ves

    another twit with more BS Junk science!! more wasted us taxpayer dollars!

  • Michael G

    To the Canadians here that say violence never solves anything — why then does Canada have an armed force?

    My daughter was bullied relentlessly for two years in elementary school and the teachers and principle were not permitted to do anything meaningful. Finally she wore boots to school and kicked her attackers, actually drawing blood. That was third grade if I remember right. Nobody touched her again all the way through high school.

    The movie “Starship Troopers” is a bit hokey but near the beginning, the teacher reveals that “Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.” * Source: Lt. Col. Jean V. Dubois (Ret.), Page 26 (

  • Michael G

    I explain to liberals in this way — punishment is in lieu of the “natural consequence.” The natural consequence of a child putting her hand over a stove burner is probably going to be permanent disability. She is not able to make that choice. The punishment for making the attempt should be serious, but NOT PERMANENT.

    It need not involve hitting, but then again, maybe that is exactly what is needed. It depends on the circumstances. A child is not likely to learn empathy what hitting other children is like, until she herself experiences it. This is true also for animals. None of my children have ever been cruel to animals.

    Sometimes danger can be demonstrated. My father stuck a small piece of wire in an electric socket, after observing that I seemed to be interested in that sort of thing. The resulting flash and bang instilled a caution in me about electricity that was almost sufficient; much better than spanking.

    Do you want to merely tell your 6 year old, “please don’t play with matches and candles”, or upon observing a repetition, do something a bit more dramatic?

    Quite frankly, some people just do not negotiate and fear is the only constraint on their behavior. Others exist to obey and to please others, even within the same family. That kind does not need spanking, merely instruction and praise.

    Inexperienced, youthful persons, usually Democrats, do not grasp just how different each person is, even with a single family, and what works for one is not going to work for the other. You must be prepared to use ALL of the tools in your toolkit, and that includes spanking, cold showers, timeouts (which I find almost totally ineffective on everyone but it works okay on dogs), and postive reinforcement of desireable behavior.

  • Michael G

    Cause and effect is not clear.

    “Tracie Afifi suggests that spanking can cause children to have mood and anxiety disorders ”

    It could be the other way round — children with mood and anxiety disorders get more spanking.

  • Oldbutnotadumbutt@2012

    Everything on this Planet is ran by rules,the Family is no exception.When my kid did some thing wrong(rare)He was told he did wrong,Then he got Three hits on his butt.I always told him afterwords,that I didn’t like doing this,that it hurt me just as much as it hurt him,and that doing some thing bad not only effected him,but also effected others as well.He has never been any trouble at school,nor with the police!!!When I hear some of the dumb statements,that some of these so called children “doctors’ ” make it proves to me,once again,that their educated “dip-Sticks”!!!!!

  • Paul R Metivier

    Need to teach them (the) limits, not (your) limits. By using consequences. Tell them the limit for something once, make sure they understand, then it is no more warnings or threats do exactly what you told them was going happen. That is teaching them (the) limit). If you don’t and keep giving them warnings, and threats, they will begin to feel like they are in control, looseing respect for you and your values, learning (your) limts and how to push them further. Till you are no longer at the point of loveing correction, but react out of anger, pride, emotional self defence/preservation. Don’t let it get to that point and if it has get away from them till you can act in love, even if you have to ask someone else to help you watch them till you can.

  • Mercy

    No one who has lived with a child suffering from advancing, profound mental illness could ever MAKE such a statement, yet alone believe it. I used the “rod” lightly three times to control enormously disruptive behavior in my child when she was four or five: when I say “rod” I mean a thin ruler-type thingy that I barely even touched her with. First, we sat down and talked about what she had done, then she got her “spanking” and then we hugged and I told her I loved her. Three times. Never once did I smack her hand, strike out in anger, or physically punish her. Love, consistent and patient parenting, and security are all she ever got from me. Profound mental illness does not just “appear” out of nowhere, it is most likely genetic or a combination of genetic predisposition (which the genome project apparently says is found in most humans) and environment (exposure to virus, toxins, etc.) If a child is severely beaten by a parent, that child is suffering other abuse: verbal, emotional, psychological. That might produce anger and a problem with authority, even anti-social behavior, but real mental illness (aside from split personality in very rare and extreme cases) – no. I’m sick to death of government funds being given and used by idiots when what they SHOULD be used for is to advance our understanding of the true causes of serious mental illness and improve the medications used to help these people. The prescription drugs are just as bad as the disease.

  • Tammy Bowman

    what a bunch of crap this study was done by whom obviously they havnt looked around at the children being raised today they get no disapline and they are out of hand what a crock of (expletive deleted)

  • Get real

    The true translation of the bible says “spare the rod, hate your child” not spare the rod, soil your child!!! We are to discipline our children if we love them. I was spanked until I graduated from high school and I am now a medical professional with multiple degrees and guess what? No mental disease!!! I lead a normal life and I’m a mother. My child know there are consequences for bad behavior. Time out doesn’t work!! Get real people. Look at our overcrowded prisons and realize that these people were never truly shown discipline. Studies have shown that the majority of prisoners who were asked (what would have kept you out of prison?) replied, I was never disciplined as a child, and I was never shown love by my parents. So my advice is. Love your child by First telling them what they did wrong, then spanking them and then follow up with a hug or kiss and tell them you spanked them because you love them and not because you don’t!! Schools need to bring back the Paddle!!! I was scared to death in school of going to the principals office in fear of getting licks(as we called them). That kept me in line , more than thinking I might have to sit at a desk in some room for a day or week!! Big deal!!!

    • Shirley Custer

      Lack of disipline is evident in most of the children we see today. Where there is no punishment for wrong doing, The wrong doing takes over. I wish we could go back to how we were. My children were told if you get a spanking at school, expect another one when you get home. They are now outstanding adults. I have seen children screaming and hitting their parents in public .What a shame!!!

  • dual diagnosis treatment

    This would like health care between experts of many disorders so that a lot of
    further risk regarding the patients’ health will be sidestepped. But according that would statistics, it is mostly the emotional factors that walk a person under doing drugs and alcohol.

  • Chris

    Most of the people in prisons have mental illness too. It doesn’t mean the prison caused it. The study most likely didn’t investigate if the spankings were in response to nothing else having worked prior to that.


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