Physical Punishment in Childhood Leads to Health Problems as Adults

The use of physical punishment in childhood increases the risk of various chronic diseases in adult life. This is proved by the data from the study conducted by Canadian scientists.


The scientists from the University of Manitoba, led by Tracie Afifi, examined the information on 34 thousand people. They took into account the state of human health and the kind of punishment that had been applied to the people in their childhood. It was found that the people who had been beaten by parents for their childhood faults, had an increased risk of at least one chronic disease. Thus, the risk of arthritis was increased by 25%, and of cardiovascular diseases – by 28%. People with obesity and depression were also more common among them.

The authors explain this relationship as follows: corporal punishment affects the child’s sleep, the work of the immune system, and regulating of the stress hormones secretion. In turn, stress (single or chronic) increases the risk of disease.

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