Spanking leads to increased aggression. A study done at Tulane University found that children who were spanked regularly at age three have a higher risk of aggression later in life. At age five, these aggressive actions could include bullying, cruelty, and a number of other negative behaviors (Brannon).
Non-abusive physical punishment, which includes spanking, leads to an increased risk of mental disorders and drug/alcohol abuse and dependency. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2012 found that, even when accounting for other factors, harsh physical punishment increased the risk of these disorders (Afifi et al.).
Forty-two countries around the world have banned corporal punishment as a means of discipline in any setting, including the home, based on these studies. Sweden banned corporal punishment in 1979, just four years after the American Psychological Association “approved a resolution… opposing corporal punishment in schools and other institutions…” (Smith).
According to Smith, “…spanking doesn’t work, says Alan Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor… ‘You cannot punish out these behaviors that you do not want,’ says Kazdin, who served as APA president in 2008. ‘There is no need for corporal punishment based on the research. We are not giving up an effective technique. We are saying this is a horrible thing that does not work.’”