SMACKING BAN LINKED
TO LESS TEEN VIOLENCE
Bans on smacking children are linked to less violence among teenagers, according to a new review. Using physical force to correct or control a child’s behaviour remains legally and socially permitted in many countries. But corporal punishment has been linked to negative outcomes for children, including aggressive behaviours, mental health problems and academic issues. In a new study, researchers assessed levels of youth violence both in countries which permit corporal punishment and those which do not. The research examined data on more than 400,000 youngsters from 88 countries. Thirty countries had implemented a full ban on corporal punishment at school and at home; 38 had a partial ban and 20 had no bans in place.
In countries where full bans were in force, the prevalence of physical fighting was 69 per cent lower among young men and 42 per cent lower among young women than it was in countries without any ban, the authors found. Among countries operating a partial ban, including the UK, there was no significantly reduced rate of frequent fighting among males — the rate was only lower among younger women.