Spanking linked to anxiety and depression

first_imgTaking issues raised in Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap into real life, a study has found, physical punishment of children has been linked to the onset of mental illness in adulthood. The study, published by Pediatrics journal looked at the link between physical punishment and mental disorders in more than 20,000 American adults aged 20 and over. Researchers looked at the psychological impact of physical discipline “in the absence of more severe child treatment”, such as the occasional smacking. The findings could allow the move to criminalise smacking in USA. In Australia, parents can lawfully hit a child, “so long as the force is reasonable”, according to the Model Criminal Code. “Reasonable force” is defined as a smack or hit that will not result in bruising, marking or any injury that will last for more than 24 hours. If this occurs, courts can lawfully state that the “force” is a form of physical abuse. Dr Gervase Chaney, the head of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Paediatrics and Child Health Division, called for smacking to be criminalised in the Journal of Paediatric and Child Health. “We cannot keep going on with the argument that it was OK for our generation as children (or that of our parents) and ‘it never did us any harm’,” Chaney wrote. “It is up to us as paediatricians to make the issue about children and their rights and advocate for them now and their future … There has been good evidence that in countries where it has been banned there is a reduction in child abuse.” A 2006 survey found that 69 per cent of parents agreed it was sometimes necessary to “smack” a naughty child. Smacking is currently banned in 30 countries. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more