Prevent Child Abuse America released the below statement today regarding the Canadian study published this week on questions related to the long term harm associated with corporal punishment.
CHICAGO, IL, February 10, 2012 - Corporal punishment may cause cognitive impairment and impact the areas of the brain relevant to intelligence testing, according to a study published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal - more here.
In addition, Dr. Joan Durant a co-author of the study said, "What people have realized is that physical punishment doesn't only predict aggression consistently, it also predicts internalizing kinds of difficulties, like depression and substance use…There are no studies that show any long term positive outcomes from physical punishment.”
The study further provides parents and caregivers with information illustrating the importance of a life long bond with their child, a fundamental element of healthy child development and the successful transition to becoming a contributing member of society.
“The results of this study illustrate the importance of intensive home visitation services, such as our signature program, Healthy Families America (HFA),” stated James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “HFA services provide parents and caretakers with positive discipline the appropriate developmental information and options for both raising and disciplining their children, such as giving time-outs, explaining rules, or taking away privileges, which have long been shown to be more effective than corporal punishment.”
In an era where budget cuts in the United States are continually under discussion, the analysis is also a reminder that our nation’s ability to develop future generations today is more beneficial than fixing both individuals and society later.
“This study lends tremendous support to the vision of our federal policymakers for funding home visitation funds as contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” added Hmurovich. “The benefits that result from thriving children eventually translate to communities that are better equipped to be competitive in a global economy and to the perception that our nation can be seen as one that establishes child and family well-being as a fundamental right of its citizens.”