Moms who suffered physical abuse or other violent experiences in childhood are much more likely to spank their infants than moms who did not suffer these adverse childhood experiences, results of a new study indicate.
This study provides more evidence that a mother's past experiences in her own childhood have a "huge impact on how she approaches her own children," Dr. Esther K. Chung from Jefferson Pediatrics/duPont Children's Health Program in Philadelphia told Reuters Health.
Among a group of 1265 mostly black, single, low-income mothers of infants up to 11 months old, Chung and colleagues discovered that 19% said they "valued" corporal punishment as a means of discipline and 14% reported spanking their infants.
"We were pretty surprised, actually, to find the high prevalence of infant spanking because, on average, the children were about 9 months old and to think that children that young are being hit is disturbing," Chung said.
~ Reuters, 20 July 2009
In the Philippines, spanking of children is still practiced, not only by parents, but some school teachers, especially in rural areas. They believe that a child that has been spanked will grow up to be a more disciplined person.
Yes, it is true that most of these mothers were also spanked when they were kids. Spanking of children has a deep cultural history here.
The reasoning is that if it worked for the parents, then it must work for the kids also.
Kids who grow up with little corporal punishment are somewhat frowned upon by the elders, especially if they end up as bad adults. 'Bad adults' is a subjective description, of course. In this day and age of child abuse, however, the mindset is gradually changing.