Pediatricians warn parents against spanking children as it can leave them with brain changes, aggression and suicidal behavior

Nearly 20 years after the agency's release of 'Guidance for Effective Discipline', it issued an advisory on Monday, which said parents should 'be encouraged' against spanking


                            Pediatricians warn parents against spanking children as it can leave them with brain changes, aggression and suicidal behavior

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has fortified its previous stand on corporal punishment with a new policy statement. The organization has stated that forms of corporal punishment, like spanking, should not be used as a method to discipline children.

Nearly 20 years after the agency's release of 'Guidance for Effective Discipline', it issued a follow-up advisory on Monday, which stated that parents should "be encouraged" to not use spanking as punishment. The advisory also entailed a note from doctors who say there "appears to be a strong association between spanking children and subsequent adverse outcomes," PEOPLE reported.



 

The new advisory contained a set of guidelines which listed the adverse consequences of spanking on different age groups among children. The guidelines, for example, detailed that children younger than 10 months have an increased risk of physical injury, which could eventually lead to mental-health related issues. The advisory added that the act of spanking itself could present a conflict-ridden and aggressive relationship between a parent and child of any age.

The AAP, in its latest release, also stated that spanking could lead to outcomes similar to those seen in individuals who have undergone physical abuse as children. The guidelines reportedly cited "the opinions of the vast majority of U.S. pediatricians, who do not recommend corporal punishment". 

A pediatrician, Dr. Robert D. Sege, in Monday's release about the new policy statement, said: "The purpose of discipline is to teach children good behavior and support normal child development. Effective discipline does so without the use of corporal punishment or verbal shaming.”



 

"Children who experience repeated use of corporal punishment tend to develop more aggressive behaviors, increased aggression in school, and an increased risk of mental health disorders and cognitive problems. In cases where warm parenting practices occurred alongside corporal punishment, the link between harsh discipline and adolescent conduct disorder and depression remained," Sege said in the release.

The AAP, apart from stating the detrimental effects of employing physical punishment on children, also suggested a few disciplining methods for both younger and older children: "The best way to improve behavior is to give children a lot of attention when they are doing something you like and remove your attention when they are doing something you do not like," the group stated.