Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spanking and genetics may increase childhood aggression

Date:
March 5, 2012
Source:
University of Texas, Dallas
Summary:
The risk of problem behavior during childhood — particularly for boys — is greatly increased if children have genetic predispositions for these behaviors and if they are spanked by their parents.

The risk of problem behavior during childhood -- particularly for boys -- is greatly increased if children have genetic predispositions for these behaviors and if they are spanked by their parents.
Credit: Firma V / Fotolia

A study co-authored by UT Dallas criminologist Dr. J.C. Barnes shows that the risk of problem behavior during childhood -- particularly for boys -- is greatly increased if children have genetic predispositions for these behaviors and if they are spanked by their parents.

Related Articles


"We found that genetic factors affect which children display aggressive behavior, but we also found that genetic factors matter more when children were exposed to spanking as a disciplinary tactic," said Barnes, an assistant professor of criminology in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

The study titled, "Physical Punishment and Childhood Aggression: The Role of Gender and Gene-Environment Interplay," was recently published in the journal Aggressive Behavior. The researchers examined data from children who were 9 months to 5 years old. The information was collected from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort.

Barnes said the researchers found a link between genetic predisposition and environmental influences -- in this case, spanking -- only in boys.

"It did not affect females," he said. "Males who were spanked and had the highest genetic risks displayed the most aggressive behavior compared to other males."

Acts of aggression included temper tantrums and disruptive behavior, for example. Barnes said the researchers have been studying childhood levels of aggression to see how and why they are influenced by genetic risks. Genetic risk was measured by utilizing what is known as the twin methodology, a study design that allows for the comparison of twin concordance as a way to identify heritable influences on a trait.

The study's findings could be an indicator of when interventions may be most beneficial, Barnes said.

"Since we're tracing back to early childhood, which is a formative time, that suggests interventions could be targeted to that early time point in the life course," he said. "The targeted intervention may be to reduce spanking across the board."

The study was co-authored by Dr. Courtney Franklin at Sam Houston State University and Dr. Kevin M. Beaver at Florida State University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas, Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian B. Boutwell, Cortney A. Franklin, J.C. Barnes, Kevin M. Beaver. Physical punishment and childhood aggression: the role of gender and gene-environment interplay. Aggressive Behavior, 2011; 37 (6): 559 DOI: 10.1002/ab.20409

Cite This Page:

University of Texas, Dallas. "Spanking and genetics may increase childhood aggression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132250.htm>.
University of Texas, Dallas. (2012, March 5). Spanking and genetics may increase childhood aggression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132250.htm
University of Texas, Dallas. "Spanking and genetics may increase childhood aggression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132250.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins