Forget "spare the rod, spoil the child" — research shows that experiencing spanking, slapping, and hitting as a kid leads to an increased risk of mental disorders as an adult.
Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg asked survey participants — the final sample included over 20,000 people — how often they were "pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by your parents or any adult living in your house" while growing up. The 5.9 percent of people who said they had experienced some form of the above were more likely to be male, black, and have a family history of dysfunction.
The people who said "sometimes" or higher were defined as experiencing harsh physical punishment, and researchers found their past trauma was linked to "most lifetime Axis I mental disorders":
The risk of major depression was 41 percent higher;
The risk of mania was 93 percent higher;
The risk of any mood disorder was 49 percent higher;
The risk of any anxiety disorder was 36 percent higher;
The risk of any alcohol abuse or dependence was 59 percent higher;
The risk of any drug abuse or dependence was 53 percent higher.
Sad. Let's all go hug our kids, or our friend's kids, or at the very least watch adorable YouTube videos of kids and remember that the children are our future, etc.
Image via Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock.