NEW ORLEANS, April 12 (UPI) — Children who are spanked as toddlers may display bullying behavior once the children reach school age, U.S. researchers found.
Catherine A. Taylor of the Tulane University in New Orleans and colleagues tracked 2,561 study subjects from 1998 to 2005 in 20 large U.S. cities.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found a mother’s use of spanking more than twice in the previous month when the child was age 3 was linked with increased risk of higher levels of aggression when the child was age 5 after controlling for the child’s level of aggression at age 3 and confounding factors.
The confounding factors included: maternal physical maltreatment, maternal psychological maltreatment and maternal neglect, intimate partner aggression, stress, depression, substance use and abortion consideration.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children not be disciplined by spanking, but research has shown that the vast majority of U.S. parents approved of corporal punishment and have used it on their children, the study said.
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