Hitting kids is linked to aggressive behavior

March 1, 2017

An interview-based study conducted in 372 parents visiting pediatric emergency departments with children aged younger than 4 years found that parents who used physical discipline were 2.8 times more likely than parents who did not use this form of discipline to report that their children engage in hitting, kicking, and throwing.

Hitting kids is linked to aggressive behavior. An interview-based study conducted in 372 parents visiting pediatric emergency departments with children aged younger than 4 years found that parents who used physical discipline were 2.8 times more likely than parents who did not use this form of discipline to report that their children engage in hitting, kicking, and throwing. Physical discipline, used on 38% of study children overall, was associated with the presence of familial psychosocial risk factors, such as substance abuse and mental health issues (Thompson R, et al. Acad Pediatr. 2017;17[1]:34-44). 

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Ms Freedman is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. She has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.