Does physical and psychological punishment form violent children?

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that physical punishment is inefficient. Find out the reasons

Does physical and psychological punishment form violent children?

Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a research article in its Pediatrics magazine called Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Kids. The article, in addition to being informative, was intended to update the policies of the AAP regarding corporal punishment, as it reaffirmed the disagreement that the institution has regarding this issue and called for the prohibition of these methods. The article also addresses the ineffectiveness of verbal punishment and the consequences that this brings.

Leer en español: Niños violentos ¿Culpa del castigo físico y psicológico?

The research has several studies in which it is shown that both physical and verbal punishment (shame or humiliation) are ineffective, mainly because it generates a short-term response generated by the fear of punishment, which does not mean that Improve your long-term behavior. The article also emphasizes that the ineffectiveness of these forms of punishment has serious consequences, since, according to studies carried out on more than 5000 children by The Fragile Families and the Childwood Wellbeaing Study, aggressive behaviors in children are generated in the future.

On the other hand, these methods of punishment, besides affecting their emotional part, can affect their mental health and the consequences can be seen in the preadolescence and adolescence stages through mental and cognitive problems. Among other consequences, the article also highlights the following: "corporal punishment in children under 18 months increases the probability of physical injuries " and "recurrent corporal punishment can lead to aggressive behavior and altercations between father and child, which It can negatively affect the father-son relationship."

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It is also emphasized that verbal punishment can increase stress levels, that is, an increase in cortisol, and it has been shown that this can generate changes in the anatomy of the child's brain and its architecture. Verbal punishment, for the AAP, is seen as psychological abuse and its consequences are mainly seen in depressive behaviors and problems to relate during adolescence.

Finally, the research shares some strategies to promote effective discipline and calls on pediatricians to explain to parents the consequences of physical and psychological punishment.

The AAP maintains first and foremost a firm position: it is necessary to prohibit physical and psychological punishment in children. For the institution, there is hope that it has been proven that the parents of more recent generations have left behind these methods, but consider that there are still many children who have to go through this type of punishment, so they seek to generate awareness and a change drastic.


LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

Translated from: 'Niños violentos ¿Culpa del castigo físico y psicológico?'

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