SCOTLAND (CBS) — A new study shows that kids can become depressed and violent later in life if they endured physical punishments growing up.

Researchers have found a connection between smacking children and child abuse, according to a study commissioned by nonprofit organizations including Barnardo’s Scotland, Children 1st, Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner, and Scotland’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The study’s authors say the negative consequences of smacking a child are so overwhelming that a law should be passed, banning the practice.

“The evidence for harmful effects of physical punishment is strong and consistent,” reads the study, “And the declines in the use of physical punishment in countries where it is prohibited make a compelling case for the introduction of such legislation.”

As of June, the United Kingdom was only one of five countries in the European Union that have not committed to prohibiting all types of physical punishment, the study shows.

Nearly 50 countries have banned all physical punishment on children in both indoor and outdoor settings, while another 52 are committed to law reform, according to the End Corporal Punishment website cited in the study.

The authors also call for “large-scale information and awareness campaigns,” and supporting “parents in using positive parenting strategies, through providing information via different channels.”

The findings from several dozen international studies were used in the study.

More than 76 percent of the 55 bad behavior studies conducted showed that smacking increases the likelihood a kid would become violent.


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