"Spare the rod and spoil the child," the saying goes, but new research points to a much different conclusion. Spanking young kids can negatively impact future temperament over a decade later, according to scientists from the University of Missouri.
Even though the majority of Americans approve of spanking, data shows it's not only an ineffective way to discipline, but it actually has the opposite effect. A 2016 meta-analysis using data on over 150,000 children over a 50-year period linked corporal punishment with aggression, antisocial behavior, mental health problems, cognitive difficulties and low self-esteem, among other negative outcomes. Basically, just because your parents spanked you doesn't mean it's a good idea to spank your kids.
The most recent research, published in Developmental Psychology, came to similar conclusion but specifically looked at racially diverse, low-income families enrolled in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project. While experts hadn't conducted many studies on this part of the population before, the results still came out against spanking.