If you spank your children, even occasionally, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of mental and emotional distress. So concludes a study from two Canadian universities reported by the Los “Angeles Times. They asked 35,000 American adults whether their parents had ever hit, grabbed, pushed, shoved or slapped them while they were growing up. Those who’d been physically punished, but not abused — about 2,100 of those surveyed — had a higher risk of personality disorders and substance abuse.
“There is no amount of physical punishment that is OK,” said researcher Tracie Afifi. The findings,in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, are the latest salvo in a lopsided battle over spanking — with doctors, academics and child-rearing experts on one side and millions of parents on the other. Most parents agree that spanking is not the best way to discipline a child. Yet most parents admit they’ve spanked their offspring. There are zealots on both sides of the issue: Those who consider choices of discipline the province of parents, and resent the ivory tower intrusion. And those who want spanking outlawed, as dozens of countries have done.