By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:21 PM on 03rd January 2010
Children who are smacked by parents often turn out more successful than those who have not, research has found.
The study concluded that children who had been physically disciplined when they were young, between the ages of 2 and 6, were performing better as teenagers on almost every measure that was taken into consideration than those who had never been smacked.
It was only in cases where it continued beyond the age of 12 that the children were found to be affected negatively, resulting in a dip on performance indicators.
The results of the US-based study undermines the efforts of various campaigners who have been trying to have physical punishment outlawed in the UK, who have claimed that it causes long-term damage to the children.
Currently, UK law allows parents to chastise their children as long as it does not leave a physical mark such as a bruise - the government has said it is reluctant to criminalise parents purely for disciplining their children with the best of intentions.
'The claims made for not spanking children failed to hold up. They are not consistent with the data,' Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told the Sunday Times.
'I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool - you just don't use it for all your jobs,' she added.
Gunnoe, who lead the research, said 2,600 people were reviewed, of whom about a quarter had never been smacked.
It also included detailed interviews of about 179 teenagers who were asked how old they were when they were last smacked and how often they were smacked as a child.
She then looked at many outcomes parents generally night want for their teenage children such as academic rank, volunteer work, college aspirations, hope for the future, and confidence in their ability to earn a living when they grow up.
It emerged that those who had been spanked just when they were young were doing a little better as teenagers than those who’d never been spanked on almost every measure.
Research of this kind is rare, given that physical punishment was not viewed as taboo until fairly recently.
However, in a recent poll, more than 70% of Britons would support a ban on smacking.
The above article was slightly adjusted when I read through it again, so here in green, I've copied the adjusted article from the original source - again.
Last updated at 8:55 AM on 04th January 2010
Young children who are smacked by their parents grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been hit, research claims.It found that children who are smacked before the age of six perform better at school when they are teenagers.They are also more likely to do voluntary work and to want to go to university than those who have never been physically disciplined.
But the study also revealed that children who are smacked after the age of six were more likely to exhibit behavioural problems, such as being involved in fights. Smacking is currently banned in 20 European countries, including Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. In Britain 'reasonable chastisement' in the home is allowed unless it leaves a mark.
But the study, by Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of Psychology at Calvin College in the U.S. state of Michigan, found there was not enough evidence to prove that smacking harmed most children. She said: 'The claims that are made for not spanking children fail to hold up. 'I think of spanking as a dangerous-tool, but then there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool. You don't use it for all your jobs.'
Professor Gunnoe questioned 2,600 people about being smacked, of whom a quarter had never been physically chastised. The participants' answers then were compared with their behaviour, such as academic success, optimism about the future, antisocial behaviour, violence and bouts of depression.
Teenagers in the survey who had been smacked only between the ages of two and six performed best on all the positive measures. Those who had been smacked between seven and 11 fared worse on negative behaviour but were more likely to be academically successful. Teenagers who were still smacked fared worst on all counts. Parenting guru Penelope Leach disagreed with the findings.
'No good can come from hitting a child,' she said. 'I do not buy this idea that children will learn positive behaviour from being smacked. 'The law says adults hitting adults is wrong and children should be protected in the same way. Children are people too.' But psychologist Aric Sigman said: 'The idea smacking and violence are on a continuum is a bizarre and fetished view of what punishment is for most parents.
'If it's done judiciously by a parent who is normally affectionate and sensitive to their child, our society should not be up in arms about that. Parents should be taught to distinguish this from a punch in the face.'
Two years ago, Britain was criticised by the UN for failing to ban smacking in the home, after experts said it was a form of abuse.
And growing numbers of the public seem to agree: A recent poll found 71 per cent of parents would support a ban on smacking.