UTMB study: Spanking may worsen behavior problems

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Those who were given corporal punishment as children are 29% more likely to extend that abuse into their dating life, a new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston says.

Temple, along with a team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, has been checking in with a group of almost 800 people every year.

Conducted by Jeff Temple, an associate professor at University of Texas, the study examined 758 people between 19 and 20 years old, finding that those who received physical discipline from their parents committed "dating violence" at a higher rate, CNN reported Tuesday. Hundreds of young adults in our area were followed since childhood.

Researchers questioned more than 700 participants in their late teens and early 20s. Nineteen percent said yes.

"There's a tendency for adults who have been spanked to say 'I turned out just fine, ' " Temple said.

In fact, global estimates suggest that a whopping 80 percent of children worldwide experience physical punishment - a pretty staggering figure to be sure.

The takeaway? It's pretty simple, according to Temple: Spanking has serious, long-lasting consequences.

Other researchers have found evidence that corporal punishment can be beneficial, however. "So they continue the behavior with their children".

A new study suggests being spanked as a child may be linked to a person's propensity to be abusive in future romantic relationships.

"Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence", he said.

Temple said many factors can contribute to dating violence, like mental health, attitudes toward women, beliefs about violence, problem-solving skills, availability to weapons and substance use.