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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — A parent better be careful the next time they raise their hand to their child. A new study finds that children who are spanked are more likely to suffer mental disorders when they become an adult.
The study – “Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative US Sample” published in Pediatrics — states that children who were physically punished were more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and develop mood disorders.
“Many studies have found a link between physical punishment and poor child and adolescent social, emotional, cognitive, developmental, and behavioral problems or impairment,” the study says. “There is also evidence for an association between physical punishment and poor adult mental health outcomes.”
Researchers found that up to 5 percent of adults who were hit as children suffered from mania and another 7 percent developed schizotypal personality disorder.
The researchers used data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions that was collected in 2004 and 2005.
“Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample,” the study states. “These ﬁndings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.”