Spanking Increases Children’s Chance of Drug Abuse

by AdamS on July 26, 2012

A recent study that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that children who were spanked or hit as children were much more likely to develop mental issues as adults.  The report stated that physical abuse as children has led these people to drug addiction and other mental health problems.  The study showed that children who were spanked, grabbed, or hit in public or private settings were almost 60 percent likelier to abuse drugs as adults.  Many of these people will need to seek residential rehab programs to get help later in life.  Check out for more information on residential rehab.

The Study

Researchers conducting the study looked at information found in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions which took information from more than 600 adults in their study.  The researchers focused on individuals that reported being spanked, slapped, hit or shoved around as children, but left out those individuals that were sexually mistreated.  In the past, researchers have found a significant link between children that were sexually abused and their tendencies to develop drug or mental health problems as adults.

Corporal Punishment

This study was unique in that it did not take into account the adults that had been sexually abused as children; rather it focused solely on those that received physical abuse.  41 percent of the adults that reported being slapped or spanked as children also reported having difficulties with depression or manic episodes.  It was also noted that drug or alcohol abuse was much more prevalent in the adults that received corporal punishment as children than those who were not hit or pushed.

Alternative Punishments

Since there are conclusive results that show that physical punishment of children is increasing the amount of mental health problems in adults, it is wise to find alternative ways to punish children.  Most parents start by taking privileges away from their kids, such as television or computer time.  Another alternative way of reprimanding children is to increase the amount of time they have to study for school, or increase the amount of chores they have for a week.  This can also be a risky approach, as associating school work or chores as a punishment might lead the child to want to do less school work or chores in the long run.

The Best Option

Children, very similar to adults are prone to making mistakes.  Punishing an adult for not putting a cover sheet on their report by slapping them in the face would never seem like an appropriate course of action.  The same should be true when dealing with children, there are much better ways to correct a behavior than by violence.

For those adults that were spanked and hit as children, they should not follow their parent’s methods.  No parent wants their child to develop a drug addiction, especially as a direct result of being spanked or slapped.  The best thing to do is teach them why what they did was wrong and give them a way to fix the problem before they end up in a residential rehab facility as adults.  Go to for more info on drug addiction.

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