Smacking can lower a child's IQ, study reveals

by LucyA 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • LucyA

    Smacking can lower a child's IQ, study reveals

    By Kate Sikora

    The Daily Telegraph

    Children who constantly face physical punishment live in fear and suffer stress, affecting academic achievement / File

    SMACKING, long used by parents to discipline naughty children, could cause more than tears.

    Research revealed it can also lower a child's IQ, with those smacked up to three times a week having a lower IQ due to psychological stress.

    US-based sociologist Professor Murray Straus, who studied the impact of smacking for 40 years, likened the effects of corporal punishment to post-traumatic stress, affecting a child's mental development, The Daily Telegraph reports.

    He called on governments to outlaw corporal punishment.

    After studying 800 toddlers aged between two and four over a four-year period, he found those who were subjected to smacking had an IQ five points lower than that of a child who wasn't physically disciplined.

    "The results of this research have major implications for the well-being of children across the globe," he said.

    "All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding smacking and correcting misbehaviour in other ways can help that."

    Children aged five to nine years who were smacked regularly had an IQ 2.8 points lower. Dr Straus said children who constantly faced physical punishment lived in fear and suffered stress, which was associated with poorer academic performance.

    While not an advocate of smacking, Sydney psychologist Dr Judith Kennedy said parents who gave an occasional tap on the bottom should not fear damaging their child.

    "But a child who is suppressed through physical punishment regularly is going to behave differently," Dr Kennedy said.

    Melbourne child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said many factors contributed to intelligence and he found it hard to believe that spanking was one, the Herald Sun reports.

    Dr Carr-Gregg said hitting children should never be the main disciplinary tool - giving them time out was the best option.

    "But while parents should never whack their kids on the head, I don't believe the odd tap on the bum traumatises them," he said.

    "I can't come at this politically correct stuff that says that a little smack on the bum makes parents child abusers."

    Father of three Con Zoumis said spanking should be used only as a last resort.

    "It's not to hurt them, it's just to make them snap out of a tantrum or stubborn behaviour," he said. "And if you threaten to spank someone you have to carry it through." Found this interesting article I was smacked as a child and I dont think I'm stupid. What Does everyone else Think?
  • Spook

    Correlation, I'm sure, not causation.

    Stupid, lazy, uncreative parents will more likely resort to physical punishment. Also, those with quality educations are well aware of the medical opinion on physical discipline.

    Additionally, neglected / understimulated children are more likely to "act out" and thus receive punishment - often as a form of attention seeking and self destruction.

    My parents would spank as a last resort. The medical opinion is pretty clear - physical punishment which maeks a child feel (1) dominated and helpless (2) legitimately afraid of pain from the primary caregivers - has always been and will always be supremely destructive.

    I'll probably opt for physical restraint and removal from the situation with my kids.

    As a gigantic individual, I can only imagine the hell parents would be in if they abused their kids and turned out to have big kids. I could have kicked my mom's ass at 14 and my dad's at 16. If you use intimidation, expect things to get worse when your kids get older.

  • PDeverit

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,
    Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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