A new, controversial study suggests that children who are smacked earlier on in life become happier and more successful teenagers.
The research, conducted by Marjorie Gunnoe Psychology professor at Calvin College in the U.S state of Michigan, has established that there is a lack of evidence to prove that physical discipline harms most children. She states, “The claims that are made for not spanking children fail to hold up.”
The 2,600 participants’ answers, revealed that children smacked before the age of six were more likely to perform better at school when in their teens and more likely to want to go to university and do voluntary work.
It was a very different story for those who were smacked after the age of six. These were more likely to display anti-social behavior and generally fared badly later on in life.
Smacking continues to be a hot parenting topic. The UN has previously criticised Britain for failing to ban smacking in the home, after experts categorised smacking as a form of abuse.
A spokesperson from the NSPCC stated, “Other research has shown that smacking young children affects their behavior and mental development, and makes them more likely to be anti-social. The NSPCC believes that children should have the same legal protection from assault as Adults do.”
However, psychologist Aris Sigman disagrees claiming, “If it’s done judiciously by a parent who is normally affectionate…our society should not be up in arms about that.”
Smacking is at present banned in 20 European countries.