Children who are smacked are more likely to become aggressive and anxious, no matter what the cultural norm, a global study says. Researchers from universities in Europe, Asia and the US carried out the study.
A global research team studied 336 families across six countries - some of which accepted smacking as legitimate discipline and some which did not.
But in countries where smacking was the norm, the problems were less acute, the Child Development journal reported.
There are mixed opinions over whether smacking leads to behavioral problems and whether the society the child is being brought up in has an impact, BBC reports.
Various countries across Europe have outlawed smacking, but most countries in the developing world do not have regulations. All the children who were disciplined showed higher levels of aggression, anxiety and other emotional problems than their contemporaries.
But researchers did find that in countries where physical discipline was more common and culturally accepted, the behavioral problems were not as bad as when it was carried out where it was more taboo.
And the researches say parents needed support in finding out about positive parenting and alternatives to hitting. I.L.