Corporal punishment has been linked with all sorts of behavior problems, including aggression, paranoia, school failure, poor emotional regulation, and low empathy (Larzelere and Kuhn 2005; Johnson et al 2006; Alyahri and Goodman 2008; Chang et al 2003; Gershoff 2002).American Academy of Pediatrics: Spanking Linked to Mental Illness
The use of physical punishment to discipline children has been linked to a range of mental health problems and is strongly opposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.The Long-Term Effects of Spanking
The study, led by community-health-sciences professor Catherine Taylor, was the first to control for a host of issues affecting the mother, such as depression, alcohol and drug use, spousal abuse and even whether she considered abortion while pregnant with the child. After controlling for all these factors — each of which can contribute to a child's aggression — spanking remained a strong predictor of violent behavior. "The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 increased by 50% if he had been spanked more than twice in the month before the study began," says Taylor. The association remained even after her team accounted for varying levels of natural aggression in children, suggesting, she says, that "it's not just that children who are more aggressive are more likely to be spanked."