Studies have shown that spanking can lead to behavior problems. Now Researchers find it may also hurt a child's cognitive development. For example, they found that children who were spanked by fathers at high levels showed a decrease in verbal capacity by age nine. Children who were spanked at least twice a week by their mother at age three or five were also more likely to break rules and act aggressively. Scientists at Columbia University School of Social Work looked at nearly two thousand children from twenty large cites in the U.S. and found spanking is still very common. In fact they found over fifty percent of parents were spanking their children by age five. Critics say one issue with the study is that researchers did not define spanking, which can range from a swatting to more forceful hitting. Most Pediatrics agree there are better ways to discipline though, like discussing the bad behavior and positive reinforcement. Doctors also suggest parents take a time out themselves to think of the most effective punishment before spanking.
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