Saturday, July 25, 2009

Physically-abused moms spank their infants

Mothers who have suffered from physical abuse or other forms of violence during childhood are more likely to spank their infants, a new study finds.

Previous studies had reported that spanking is associated with an increased risk of behavioral problems, low self-esteem, depression, drug abuse and physical abuse.

A new study, however, reported that many mothers still continue to spank their children. According to the study published in Pediatrics, mothers who had suffered childhood abuse spanked their children more than those without such experiences.

The study showed that some 19 percent of mothers consider physical punishment as a disciplinary means and 14 percent actually spank their infants.

One in every ten mother who had no experience of childhood violence also reported infant spanking. Scientists concluded that a mother's childhood experiences influence her behavior toward her children.

They, therefore, urge healthcare professionals to ask pregnant moms about family structure and childhood experiences to prevent such events.