Study indicates negative outcomes for Native American children who are spanked

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 20, 2019
Adjust font size:

CHICAGO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- In the first longitudinal examination of the effects of spanking among the Native American population, researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) found that spanking is just as harmful for them as it is for black and white children, and can lead to greater externalizing behavior such as being defiant, hitting others, throwing temper tantrums.

In the study posted on UM's website on Monday, the researchers analyzed data of more than 3,600 mothers from 20 U.S. cities with more than 200,000 residents. Three waves of data were collected when children were 1, 3 and 5 years old. Participants disclosed the frequency they spanked their children.

Among white, African American and Native American groups, spanking was associated with greater child externalizing behavior. In other words, spanking is harmful for all three racial groups despite the fact that the practice may be considered "acceptable" or "normal" in some groups.

"Contrary to the idea that spanking may be 'normal,' and therefore not harmful in some groups, the results demonstrate that spanking is similarly associated with detrimental outcomes among white, black and American Indian children in the United States," said the study's lead author Kaitlin Ward, UM doctoral student in social work and developmental psychology.

Native American and white mothers were equally likely to use spanking, the study indicated. Additionally, the effects of spanking on Native American children were statistically indistinguishable from the effects found among white and African American children.

The research showed that across all groups, maternal spanking of children at age 1 predicted child behavior issues at age 3, which then made spanking more likely to happen at age 5.

Ward said mental health workers and practitioners working with the Native American population should be very mindful of the historical trauma and oppression associated with the use of physical punishment.

The researchers have increasingly recommended that parents avoid spanking, concluding that the harms of physical punishment outweigh the benefits.

The findings have been published in the recent issue of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from