Excessive punishment bad

anxiety child

While it’s got an immediate impact, and often a favorable one for the parent employing its use, grabbing, yelling and repeatedly punishing a child may have long term effects which are far worse then whatever the child did in the first place. Researchers from the Universite de Montreal are studying how this punitive parenting may slow the emotional development of a child and also how such parenting approaches may cause anxiety disorder among children. The specific anxiety disorders they are looking at are social phobia, separation anxiety and panic attacks. Far worse then forgetting to wash hands before dinner.

“Several studies have shown that coercive parenting practices are linked to anxiety,” said Francoise Maheu a professor at the Universite de Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry and lead on the study. “We know that common practices such as spanking or excessive punishment do not instill a strong discipline. Quite the opposite, they have a lasting psychological impact on children.”

Researchers are using MRI to see how the brain to see how fear and anxiety relate to this kind of discipline. They are recruiting 120 kids ages 12 to 17. They will be split into groups based on their current anxiety and their parents’ level of harsh parenting practices.

“Investigating the links among harsh parenting, fear circuitry and anxiety in youths will provide key insights on the development neurobiology of harsh parenting and anxiety,” add Maheu. “Understanding this while individuals are young is crucial as it could lead to early interventions that would effectively interrupt a development trajectory early in its course, before anxiety becomes chronic.”

Source: University of Montreal, Science Daily


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