Friday, April 23, 2010

Spanking causes aggression, study shows

The usual epidemiological rubbish. All that the results show is that more aggressive parents have more aggressive children -- for whatever reason, including genetic inheritance

SMACKING disobedient three-year-olds can turn children into bullies before they reach school, with new research suggesting corporal punishment makes kids aggressive.

Toddlers smacked at least twice a month are at higher odds of being aggressive by the time they are five. Instead, doctors believe "time out zones" are the most effective way to discipline a naughty child.

A study published in the Pediatrics journal has added to the argument made by many psychologists that smacking can harm children.

Of 2500 children studied, almost half were deemed with "higher aggression" and had been spanked more than twice a month. Regular smacking doubled their chances of adopting bullying behaviours compared with those children who have never been hit.

New Orleans' University of Tulane public health researcher Catherine Taylor said there was growing evidence smacking kids did not work. "This evidence suggests that primary prevention of violence can start with efforts to prevent the use of corporal punishment against children," she said.

While experts and most families are divided over whether spanking is damaging, many acknowledge that the occasional spank on the bottom won't permanently hurt a child.

Child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Greggs said parents should never hit a kid over the head or with an implement. "The single most effective way to discipline a three-year-old is time out. The second most effective way to modify their behaviour is to notice every time they act in a pro-social way," he said.

Port Macquarie mum, Raylene Alford, uses time out zones and reward charts to discipline her three-year-old son Cameron. "We didn't want to get into the habit of smacking Cameron when he did something wrong," she said. "He responds well to the time-out or naughty step and afterwards we ask him to explain what he did wrong."


Violent games make you smarter - study

I don't know that the logic here is conclusive but it does seem to put the onus of proof on the videogame haters

VIOLENT videogames like Call of Duty and Resident Evil can make you smarter, new research suggests. The Sun reported the study said shoot-to-kill videogames improved quick-thinking and made players more able to cope with the demands of modern life.

It refutes claims videogames turn teenagers into violent criminals - and argues parents should encourage their kids to enjoy a bit of virtual blood-and-guts.

The team of researchers from the Netherlands also suggested that games consoles should be installed in nursing homes.

Assistant professor Dr Lorenza Colzato, of Leiden University's psychology department, said: "If elderly people had a lot of problems with their thinking they could play videogames to improve their minds. "This could become a common nursing home activity; it would be a successful strategy."


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