ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


News - World Headlines

Smacking is it helpful or harmful to children? Major new study findings released

yelling at childThe more children are smacked, the more aggressive and anti-social they will be according to a meta-analysis of 50 years of research involving more than 160,000 children on this topic. 

Smacking is defined as an open-handed hit, used to discipline children. 

Analysts, Elizabeth Gershoff and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor discovered that smacking can lead to an increased risk of detrimental child outcomes.

It has similar effects on children as child abuse does and is also linked to more mental health problems and cognitive problems later on.  

There is no evidence that smacking has a beneficial effect or always achieves the outcomes that parents intended. 

Read more: Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses.  Published in the Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 30(4), Jun 2016, pages 453-469.

You may also be interested in:  Giving children choices and how to achieve the best outcomes 

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  • Centre Owner

    Having heard a colleague talk about how useful she had found their material I joined. ChildForum's replies to my queries are prompt, extremely informative & with a genuine personal touch. I am impressed by the commitment to research & courage in tackling the hard issues like the risks of poor quality care for under 2s
    Val Morrison, Centre Owner
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