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Corporal Punishment and Child’s IQ – Is There a Relationship Between Spanking and IQ?

By Kevin Leach, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In the United States, there has been a debate for years as to the parents right to inflict corporal punishment upon their child. Some parents use corporal punishment because that is the way the parent was raised. Other use it because there is a belief that corporal punishment shows authority and to some love. Yes, some believe that corporal punishment is an act of love that parents show to their children that the parents care. There can be a number of reasons that a parent inflict corporal punishment upon a child. Many safety child advocates believe that corporal punishment is just another mode of domestic violence. Children should not be subjected to injury or harm from corporal punishment. To many, corporal punishment is just a lazy, outdated, and barbaric way to discipline a child. A study conducted by Murray A. Straus (University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire) and Mallie J. Paschall (Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, California) indicates that there may be a link or association between corporal punishment / spanking and a child’s IQ.

Corporal punishment is harmful to children and often times results in physical and emotional injuries. According to this study, children may also suffer from a lower IQ when being raised by a parent who frequently resorts to corporal punishment. Whether corporal punishment leads to lower IQ or not, there are far too many repercussions and dangers from corporal punishment for parents to keep on turning to this type of discipline.

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