The use of physical punishment is controversial. Few studies have examined the relationship between physical punishment and a wide range of mental disorders in a nationally representative sample. The current research investigated the possible link between harsh physical punishment (ie, pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, hitting) in the absence of more severe child maltreatment (ie, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, exposure to intimate partner violence) and Axis I and II mental disorders.
Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions collected between 2004 and 2005 (N = 34653). The survey was conducted with a representative US adult population sample (aged ≥ 20 years). Statistical methods included logistic regression models and population-attributable fractions.
Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and family history of dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio: 1.36-2.46). Approximately 2% to 5% of Axis I disorders and 4% to 7% of Axis II disorders were attributable to harsh physical punishment.
Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.
"However, using a well-established measure of parenting practices we were able to examine physical punishment, which lies on a continuum with childhood maltreatment. Second, whilst our decision to create a binary variable indexing physical punishment based on a rating of 'sometimes or more' was guided by previous research (Afifi et al. 2012), this is an arbitrary cut-off, and reducing a complex exposure into a single indicator may lack clinical validity. Third, our ability to measure levels of distress relating to negative life events at the time which they occurred may be limited due to problems with recall. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pituitary volume enlargements have been observed among individuals with first-episode psychosis. These abnormalities are suggestive of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity, which may contribute to the development of psychosis. However, the extent to which these abnormalities characterize individuals at elevated risk for schizophrenia prior to illness onset is currently unclear, as volume increases, decreases and no volume differences have all been reported relative to controls. The current study aimed to determine whether antipsychotic-naive, putatively at-risk children who present multiple antecedents of schizophrenia (ASz) or a family history of illness (FHx) show pituitary volume abnormalities relative to typically developing (TD) children. An additional aim was to explore the association between pituitary volume and experiences of psychosocial stress.
ASz (n = 30), FHx (n = 22) and TD (n = 32) children were identified at age 9-12 years using a novel community-screening procedure or as relatives of individuals with schizophrenia. Measures of pituitary volume and psychosocial stress were obtained at age 11-14 years.
Neither ASz nor FHx children showed differences in pituitary volume relative to TD children. Among FHx children only, pituitary volume was negatively associated with current distress relating to negative life events and exposure to physical punishment.
The lack of pituitary volume abnormalities among ASz and FHx children is consistent with our previous work demonstrating that these children are not characterized by elevated diurnal cortisol levels. The findings imply that these biological markers of HPA axis hyperactivity, observed in some older samples of high-risk individuals, may emerge later, more proximally to disease onset.
Psychological Medicine 07/2015; -1(15):1-12. DOI:10.1017/S0033291715001282 · 5.94 Impact Factor
"Being female was associated with depression among older respondents (65 and older; Gureje, Kola, & Afolabi, 2007), university students (Adewuya, Ola, Olutayo, Mapayi, & Oginni, 2006), and adolescents (Adeniyi et al., 2011; Adewuya & Ologun, 2006). Findings outside Nigeria also support the notion that being female is related to depression (Afifi, 2012; Bayram & Bilgel, 2008; Dahlin, Joneborg, & Runeson, 2005; Jadoon, Yaqoob, Raza, Asif Shehzad, & Choudhry, 2010; Khan, Mahmood, Badshah, Ali, & Jamal, 2006; Maughan et al., 2013; Ozdemir & Rezaki, 2007), particularly somatic depression (Silverstein et al., 2013), although Al-Qaisy (2011) found men to be more depressed than women. Similar to depression, anxiety disorders are more common among females than males (Costello et al., 2003; Young et al., 1997). "
"There is growing consonance in the research literature demonstrating that physical punishment of children is associated with problematic outcomes such as child behavior problems and poorer mental and physical health (Afifi et al., 2012; Gershoff, 2002; Gershoff et al., 2010, 2012; Grogan-Kaylor, 2004; Maguire-Jack et al., 2012; Taylor, Manganello, et al., 2010). As such, many arguments in favor of spanking are increasingly being called into question by empirical evidence. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of U.S. parents spank their children, often beginning when their children are very young. We examined families (N = 2,788) who participated in a longitudinal community-based study of new births in urban areas. Prospective analyses examined whether spanking by the child's mother, father, or mother's current partner when the child was 1-year-old was associated with household CPS involvement between age 1 and age 5. Results indicated that 30% of 1-year-olds were spanked at least once in the past month. Spanking at age 1 was associated with increased odds of subsequent CPS involvement (adjusted odds ratio = 1.36, 95% CI [1.08, 1.71], p < .01). When compared to non-spanked children, there was a 33% greater probability of subsequent CPS involvement for children who were spanked at age 1. Given the undesirable consequences of spanking children and a lack of empirical evidence to suggest positive effects of physical punishment, professionals who work with families should counsel parents not to spank infants and toddlers. For optimal benefits, efforts to educate parents regarding alternative forms of discipline should begin during the child's first year of life.
Eva Raparia, Jeremy D Coplan, Chadi G Abdallah, Patrick R Hof, Xiangling Mao, Sanjay J Mathew, Dikoma C Shungu
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