People who remember being pushed, slapped and hit as children are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and personality disorders later in life, a new study suggests.


Canadian researchers estimated between two and seven percent of those mental disorders might be due to punishments inflicted in childhood, not including more severe forms of abuse and maltreatment.

“We know that maltreatment is traumatic, but I think the point here is that even harmful parenting behaviors that may not be classified as maltreatment per se have this association with (mental) disorders,” said Lisa Berlin, who studies parenting and child maltreatment at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore.

The finding “adds to our existing worries about the use of physical punishment, and speaks to the value of non-physical discipline,” Berlin, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Reuters Health. “There just seems to be one study after another… that says we can and should find different ways to discipline our kids.”

via Hitting, slapping tied to later mental disorders | Reuters.