Childhood Physical Discipline Linked to Mental Health Issues

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Childhood Physical Discipline Linked to Mental Health Issues
Childhood Physical Discipline Linked to Mental Health Issues

(HealthDay News) – A significant percentage of mood, anxiety, and personality disorders and substance abuse in U.S. adults can be attributed to harsh physical punishment during childhood.

Tracie O Afifi, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and colleagues conducted a study using data from a nationally representative US sample of 34,653 adults aged ≥20 who participated in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, between 2004 and 2005.

The researchers found that, overall, harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment was associated with an increased risk of adults having mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence issues, and several personality disorders. This association remained even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction.

"First, the findings indicate that harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with increased odds of having several lifetime Axis I and II disorders after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction," the authors write. "Second, an approximate reduction of 2%–5% for Axis I disorders and 4%–7% for Axis II disorders may be noted in the general population if harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment did not occur."

Abstract
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