New evidence shows that spanking may lead to bad behavior. Using a nationally represented sample, researchers interview 1,933 parents when their children were 3 and 5 years old.

They gathered data based on how often they spanked their children. Turns out over half of mothers and a third of fathers had spanked their kids. They then tested the children at age 9, assess aggression and rule-breaking through a series of questions.

From New York Times:

 “the researchers found that maternal spanking at age 5 was significantly associated with greater aggression and rule-breaking and lower scores on the vocabulary test at age 9. “Spanking does make the kid stop,” said the lead author, Michael J. MacKenzie, an associate professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. “It gives the immediate feedback that it’s working. But the goal is to have kids regulate themselves over time. And in that, spanking fails.”

Read more at New York Times

The report was published in the official journal for the Academy of Pediatrics.

Looks like the “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy is being challenged.

Thoughts on the findings?

Is spanking still a relevant disciplinary method?

Sound off below!