April 19, 2009
In a study published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August 2008, mothers who reported that they or their partner spanked their child in the past year were nearly three times more likely to state that they also used harsher forms of punishment than those who say their child was not spanked.
Such punishments included behaviors considered physically abusive by the researchers, such as beating, burning, kicking, hitting with an object somewhere other than the buttocks, or shaking a child less than 2 years old.
“In addition, increases in the frequency of spanking are associated with increased odds of abuse, and mothers who report spanking on the buttocks with an object – such as a belt or a switch – are nine times more likely to report abuse, compared to mothers who report no spanking with an object,” said Adam J. Zolotor, M.D., the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the department of family medicine in the UNC School of Medicine.
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