Study links being spanked as kid and dating violence

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Parents who believe in "spare the rod, spoil the child" might be setting their children up to become violent toward future partners, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Pediatrics. The researchers found a "significant positive association between corporal punishment and physical perpetration of dating violence". Now that they're in their late teens and early '20s, he had a new set of question for them.

Of those surveyed, 19 percent reported committing physical dating violence, while 68% said they experienced corporal punishment as children.

"They might see that as an OK way to resolve conflicts in their adolescent relationships or their adult relationships", said Temple. The participants were also asked to discuss any experiences with dating violence. Approximately 69 percent of these respondents were spanked or otherwise physically punished as children.

"One of the advantages of our study was to control for child abuse, which we defined as being hit with a belt or board, left with bruises that were noticeable or going to the doctor or hospital", Temple said. "Parents are a child's first look at relationships and how conflicts are handled".

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A new study done right here in Houston says spanking can have negative long-term effects.

Temple and the other study authors point out that there are many other factors that can contribute to violence in dating or domestic partnerships, including cultural and societal attitudes toward women, availability of weapons, substance abuse and mental health issues.

"There's a tendency for adults who have been spanked to say 'I turned out just fine, '" Temple said, and noted that those adults continue the cycle of physical discipline in their own children.