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New Study Shows "No Positive, Only Negative Outcomes" To Spanking Children

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- When a child misbehaves, parents often discipline them.

Some parents put kids in time out, but others use spanking.

"I was spanked, and I don't think I have any issues. I'm not sure what we're going to do," said Mike Venditti, of Dormont, the father of a 1-month-old daughter.

A new study reveals there are no positive outcomes to spanking, only negative. The study analyzed 75 studies over 50 years.

The results were the same. Spanking doesn't make kids behave better right away, and leads to worse behavior in the future. It also noted that kids who are spanked are more likely to be aggressive and anti-social.

"A child who is more prone to think less of themselves, to be anxious, to be worried about the outside world, you're not sending a very positive message by spanking," said Dr. Daniel Shaw, chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Shaw said parents often don't get the desired result from spanking.

He suggests using other methods.

"I wouldn't condone spanking," said Dr. Shaw. "I think there are much better means of doing it, but if you're going to do it, do it in a planful and very modest way, where kids understand this is coming if you do X."

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Parents we talked to have mixed feelings about spanking.

"I don't really believe in it," said Tangueray Bennett, a mother of two from Penn Hills. "My mom does, but I don't really see the point of it, because he [her son] does what he still does any way. I believe in time out."

"Yeah, I think it's okay. I was spanked as a kid," said Cam Mele.

His wife doesn't agree.

"Probably like way back in the day, it probably was effective, but today with these children, how they are, no," added Karen Reaves.

For the purpose of this study, spanking is described as an open-handed hit to a child's bottom or extremities. Experts say parents who are against spanking their children know it's something they don't want to do, yet they don't have tools for other measures to discipline their children.

"Honestly, she's our first born, so I don't really know our thoughts on spanking," said Shannon Venditti, the mother of a 1-month-old baby girl. "I guess we'll find out when she gets really bad."


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