Answers from moms who know

Spanking makes children aggressive later in life

Studies have shown that spanking or slapping children when they misbehave may lead to a greater amount of aggression later in life.

A review of twenty years of research found that children who were spanked, slapped, or yelled at were more likely to mimick these behaviors in their teenage and adult lives.

In the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers Joan Durrant and Ron Ensom, of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, wrote, “virtually without exception, these studies found that physical punishment was associated with higher levels of aggression against parents, siblings, peers and spouses.”

In addition, the studies found that physical punishment could lead to mental health issues or depression later in life.

According to, in the U.S. (with a few exceptions from state to state) smacking is legal. However, 20 European countries such as  Germany, Spain and the Netherlands have banned it completely. Britain allows for a reasonable amount of physical punishment but it must not leave a mark on the skin.

Durrant and Ensom suggest that parents should practice less violent, more informative ways of teaching their children right from wrong.

Instead of slapping, spanking or yelling, try ignoring the child for a minute and then redirecting their attention to a more positive action. Set out some rules. But most importantly, make sure children realize why they were put in place. Explain to them exactly what they have done wrong, so they mentally understand instead of being physically hurt for it.

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  • Tianna Grey

    How could this be applied realistically though? There are a myriad of ways to abuse a child which will not leave marks on their skin and those ways can be far more detrimental to the development of the child than physical touch.

    • Uglyman4hire

      This article has a lot of good pointers and it’s pure fact. I’m currenly going through treatment for MDD and Post Tramatic Stress. I’ve had my violent moments and unfortunatly, one of them landed me in prison. Getting beat with everything from broomstick hadlles to 2×4′s by two consantly drunk parents from God knows when until you’re 13 y/o isn’t much fun. I would say discipline your child, but don’t beat them until they are battered and bruised.