Spanking Your Child Stunts Their Intelligence


Researcher from the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Murray Straus, has just released a new study on the effects of physical punishment and IQ levels.

The study which included hundreds of American youngsters found those who were smacked had IQs between three and five points lower than other children of the same age.

Physical punishment can leave children in a state of fear, hindering their ability to learn.

Smacking children stunts their intelligence, research suggests.

Youngsters kept in line through slaps and spanks have IQs several points lower than those whose parents merely remonstrate with them, the study found.

Straus, who has devoted the last 40 years to studying the effects of corporal punishment, says that talking to children fosters brain development. 'Talking to children, including infants, is associated with an increase in connections in the brain and in cognitive ability.

'The less corporal punishment is used by a parent, the more verbal interaction is needed to teach and correct the child.

'Being slapped or spanked is a frightening and threatening event that children experience as highly stressful. Fright and stress can result in cognitive deficits.

'All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehaviour in other ways can help that happen.'

The more the children were hit, the worse they did on the tests.


Luke said...

From the excerpt you provided it sounds like this research was very poorly done. There is a vast difference in the ways corporal punishment is administered and that reality was not accounted for at all (it seems).

True: There is a ton of research that demonstrates smaking a child is totally unhelpful. Hitting is similarly illadvised.

But spanking? I know of many families who talk to their children before and after spanking, which is radically different from "hitting" or "smacking"... [sigh]

I'm not saying that I'm all for spanking children. I'm just very disappointed with the gerneral lack of acknowledgement and investigation into this other aspect of corporal punishment. I'd be very interested in findings on the families who carefully administer corporal punishment and who do not resort to violent outbursts of anger and frustration.


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