The case against spanking your children: Study finds it can lead to mental illness

Think spanking will make your child behave?

In fact, a new study discovered that children who receive spankings are more likely to be anti-social, aggressive and suffer from mental health and cognitive difficulties.

The study by the University of Texas and the University of Michigan finds the more a child gets spanked — defined by an open hand on the backside — the more likely they were to defy their parents. Their study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, analyzed five decades of spanking research representing around 160,000 children, according to the news site Mic.com, a website geared towards millennials.

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

“We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”.

“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors,” Gershoff said. “Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.”

Spanking of children is still a popular mode of discipline in households. A 2013 poll found that 81% of Americans “say parents spanking their children is sometimes appropriate,” according to NBC News.

“We hope that our study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline,” Gershoff said.

To read the whole Mic.com story click here.

Study: Pot increases risk of heart failure, stroke

Well, if smoking increases the risk of heart failure, then it goes to reason that marijuana use would as well.

Now new research analyzing millions of U.S. medical records bear this out, according to CBS News.

“Even when we corrected for known risk factors, we still found a higher rate of both stroke and heart failure in these patients,” lead researcher Dr. Aditi Kalla, a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, told CBS.

Kalla’s study looked at 20 million health records of patients aged 18 to 55 who were discharged from one of more than a thousand hospitals across the United States in 2009 and 2010. Of those patients, 1.5 percent said they’d used marijuana.

Researchers also associated pot with a 26 percent increased risk of stroke and a 10 percent increased risk of heart failure.

“More research will be needed to understand the [reasons] behind this effect,” Kalla said.

The study was not without its detractors

Paul Armentaro, deputy director of the marijuana advocacy group NORML, said the study “is inconsistent with other studies finding no adverse effects to those who consume marijuana.”

Kalla said now that medical or recreational marijuana use is now legal in more than half of U.S. states and a better understanding of pot’s health effects is needed.

You can read the whole CBS story by clicking here.

FAU study first to look at lack of paid sick leave, medical care delays

A new study by Florida Atlantic University is the first to look at the relationship between paid sick leave benefits and delays in medical care in the United States that makes our health care more expensive and less efficient.

The results again puts the U.S. behind other highly ranked countries.

The study,  published in the March issue of Health Affairs, found lack of medical care for both working adults and their family members. The study, done in conjunction with Cleveland State University, found that workers without paid sick leave were three times more likely to delay medical care than were workers with paid sick leave.

 

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Sick at work in America? Good luck. In the U.S., there are 49 million employees without sick leave. (Photo: Creative Commons)

They were also three times more likely to forgo needed medical care altogether. The lowest-income group of workers were at highest risk of delaying medical care.

“Paid sick leave is an important employer-provided benefit that helps workers and their dependents receive prompt preventive or acute medical care, recuperate from illness faster, and avert more serious illness,” said LeaAnne DeRigne, lead author of the study and associate professor in the School of Social Work at FAU.

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FAU researcher LeaAnne DeRigne says the lack of mandated paid sick leave leads to more complicated and expensive health outcomes down the line.

She said the results from the study contradict public health goals to reduce the spread of illness.

“Policymakers should consider the potential public health implications of their decisions when contemplating guaranteed sick leave benefits,” she said.

The U.S.  lags behind 22 other highly ranked countries in terms of economic and human development when it comes to mandating employers to provide paid sick leave. Only Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon – along with a few dozen municipalities mandate paid sick leave as an employee benefit.

That leaves 49 million U.S. workers without paid sick leave, which in the long run contributes to higher health costs for all when conditions and illness go untreated.

“The personal health care consequences of delaying or forgoing needed medical care can lead to more complicated and expensive health conditions,” DeRigne said.

FAU’s main campus is located in Boca Raton.