Study: Spanking negatively influences child’s development

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Researchers at Columbia University have concluded spanking negatively influences a child's cognitive development.

The study, published in the journal “Pediatrics,” states spanking remains a common experience American children.

Columbia's School of Social Work reported researches found half of mothers and a third of fathers said they spanked their children at age five.

A key finding was that children who were spanked frequently by their fathers at age five went on to have lower vocabulary scores at age nine, despite earlier vocabulary and efforts to control other risk factors.

“This is an important finding, because few studies in this area have examined effects on cognitive development,” stated lead author Michael MacKenzie.

The study also found children who were spanked at age five tended to act out more at age nine despite controlling other risk factors and earlier behavior.

“This finding is consistent with what has been found in the literature, but is of added importance given the detailed nature of the data we were using which allowed us to control for a host of other factors that also affect children's behavior, including their behavior at younger ages,” MacKenzie explained.

To read all of the study's findings, click here.

*Columbia University contributed to this report.

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