April 19, 2021-Rare parents never thought about hitting an unruly child. But a new study provides another reason to avoid corporal punishment: spanking may cause changes in the same part of the child. brain Affected by more serious physical and sexual abuse.
Previous research consistently found spanking and behavioral problems, aggression, Frustrated, with anxiety, Said Jorge Cuartas, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and the first author of the study. “We want to study an underlying mechanism, brain development, which can explain how corporal punishment affects children’s behavior and cognitive development.”
The research was published in Child development, Use functional MRI to map 147 brain changes Tween People who have never experienced physical or sexual abuse. Researchers tracked which parts of the children’s brain were activated in response to neutral or fearful facial expressions. When showing a picture of someone who looks terrified, it is reported that children who have spanked have greater reactions in certain parts of the brain than children who have not spanked. These areas drive responses to environmental cues, recognize threats and react to them. If the child’s brain overreacts, it may cause behavioral challenges.
“We have seen those changes in the same areas as more serious forms of abuse or domestic violence. This shows that the difference is in degree rather than type,” Cuartas said. As far as children’s brains are concerned, “it’s all violence.”
The journal’s pediatrician and editor-in-chief Vincent J. Palusci, MD, said this is a major discovery because many parents don’t think spanking is violent. Child abuse. “We want to raise happy and healthy children. Many parents who use spanking are working towards this goal.”
Spanking in the U.S.
There are 62 states and countries around the world that have declared corporal punishment illegal. Although the United States does not have such protective measures, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association both condemned this practice. The acceptance of spanking seems to be declining: in this country, the percentage of parents who say they have spanked is declining. In 1993, 50% of the parents surveyed expressed their willingness, but by 2017, this proportion had dropped to 35%. Cuartas and Palusci said there are still too many, but the trend is encouraging.
“Although we don’t want to hurt our children like our parents do, Palucci said, “We need to understand that spanking is as bad as something we have never done before.
Discipline and punishment
For some parents, this may require a change in the way of thinking to distinguish between discipline and punishment. “Discipline changes behavior-it teaches positive behavior, empathy and basic social skills. But this is different from punishment,” Kurtas said. “It makes someone feel painful or ashamed. We have to start thinking about spanking as punishment.”
This can be difficult, especially for adults who spank themselves. They might believe that since the results are good, the spanking must be fine. But this study does not show that every child who has spanked will have these difficulties, it just shows that they do happen, Kurtas said. “Compare it with smoking. We all know that people who smoke are healthy, but that doesn’t mean that smoking is enough,” he said. “A single case is not enough to understand the quality of certain experiences.”
Palusci is similar to the suggestion pregnant Women receive information about taking medications: if they have not been specifically tested in pregnancy, no medications are considered safe. “We have no research to show how dangerous spanking is, so we have to think that any number has this potential.”