Become A Better Parent Today
Cart 0

Science Says NO to Spanking Your Toddler

#nospanking spanking leads to aggression in teens

1840 kids and 1840 mothers studied from when the children were infants through the children's teenage years.

Study found that

"if children experience severe punishment at 15 months they were more likely to exhibit increased aggressive and delinquent behaviors in the fifth grade. They were also less likely to show positive behaviors, such as helping others. "

Spanking + other physical punishments led children in 5th grade (10 years later):

  • to exhibit increased aggressive behaviors
  • to exhibit increased criminal behaviors
  • to be less likely to show positive behaviors, such as helping others

A co-author of the study, Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity at MU and director of the MU Center for Family Policy and Research, says

"It is very important that parents refrain from physical punishment as it can have long-lasting impacts. If we want to nurture positive behaviors, all parents should teach a child how to regulate their behaviors early."


  • Disciplining without using physical force.
  • Positive Discipline

What is positive discipline?
"Positive discipline contrasts with negative discipline. Negative discipline may involve angry, destructive, or violent responses to inappropriate behavior. In the terms used by psychology research, positive discipline uses the full range of reinforcement and punishment options:

However, unlike negative discipline, it does all of these things in a kind, encouraging, and firm manner. The focus of positive discipline is to establish reasonable limits and guide children to take responsibility to stay within these limits, or learn how to remedy the situation when they don't." Source: Wikipedia

Source: Cara Streit, Gustavo Carlo, Jean M. Ispa, Francisco Palermo. Negative emotionality and discipline as long-term predictors of behavioral outcomes in African American and European American children.Developmental Psychology, 2017; 53 (6): 1013 DOI:

More About The Parenting Journal

You're a busy parent.  We know! We are too! That's why we started The Parenting Journal.  You see, every day there are 100s of scientific studies published on childhood development and human behaviors. Busy parents do not have time to read each one or develop actionable parenting advice based on it.  That's why we are here.  We send very short weekday emails that give actionable and insightful parenting advice based on the latest scientific studies and experts' findings.

What one reader and fellow mom of 3 said recently,

"What I love about The Parenting Journal is that is is actionable and insightful parenting advice that requires very little reading."

Don't miss out.  Sign up now for free. 

Liquid error (templates/article line 39): Could not find asset snippets/relatedblogs.liquid

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment