Culture Post: Parents with More Difficult Childhoods are More Likely to Spank Their Children

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by PsyPost.

A study of parents and adolescents in Canada showed that parents who experienced spanking, physical or emotional abuse in childhood, or lived with a mentally ill person in that period, may be more likely to spank their children. The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

In recent decades, studies have linked the use of physical punishment on children to multiple adverse outcomes in adulthood, including increased likelihood of mental and physical health problems, substance use, aggression, antisocial behavior, poor cognitive behaviors and others.

Estimates show that between 19% and 62.5% of parents still apply physical punishment, with these percentages varying by the age of child and by country. But what determines whether parents will use spanking with their children or not?

To answer this questions, study author Tracie Afifi, a professor at the University of Manitoba, and her colleagues analyzed data from the Well-Being and Experiences Study from Winnipeg, Manitoba and surrounding communities in Canada. Their goal was to examine whether adverse experiences a person had as a child, such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, spanking or household mental illness (living with a person with mental illness in the same household) were associated with the likelihood that their child will be spanked (by them or another caregiver). Participants were 1000 pairs with each pair consisting of an adolescent aged 14-17 years and his/her parent/caregiver.

Results showed the strongest association was with parent being spanked in childhood. Parents who reported being spanked in their own childhood were more than twice more likely to report that their child has also been spanked.

“If a parent experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their child is more likely to be spanked,” Afifi told PsyPost. “This puts children at risk for poor outcomes. Parent’s ACEs history may be an important factor to consider when developing and implementing child maltreatment prevention efforts.”

Source: PsyPost

Find more culture news on HomeWord’s Culture Blog, named in 2022 for the seventh consecutive year as one of the top 50 culture blogs on the planet!

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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