Monday, September 21, 2009

American research would support the retention of New Zealand's so-called anti-smacking legislation...

At a time when the ultra rightwing Act Party New Zealand is seeking to overturn and revoke the so-called "anti-smacking legislation" in New Zealand, new research has emerged from the United States that the smacking of young children by their low income minority group mothers has set off a few explosions within American society.

The research from Duke University which has been published in the journal of CHILD DEVELOPMENT revealed the study of 2573 toddlers and has found that for poor children, early and frequent smacking by the age of one year, is not only common, but made these children more aggressive by the age of two years, and by the age of three years their socio- emotional development had slowed dramatically.

They also found that low socio-economic mothers are more likely to have started smacking a fussy and irritable baby by the age of one year if the mothers are depressed. Boys were yelled at and smacked more often than girls, and the poorer the family, the greater the likelyhood children would be punished at an earlier age.

The collective results suggest that the causes and effects of smacking are bound tightly together, making it very difficult to interpret the particular influences of poverty, genetics, gender differences and culteral expectations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against corporal punishment.

This research put into a New Zealand perspective would suggest the so-called anti-smacking legislation in this country should not in any circumstance be revoked or even amended. It has also been reported that very few so-called good parents have been prosecuted. So why would you want to break something that is actually working?

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