Substance Use Disorders

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Childhood spanking negatively affects adult mental health

November 9, 2017

Childhood spanking was associated with increased risk for suicide attempts, moderate-to-heavy drinking and illicit drug use in adulthood.

“Child maltreatment has been consistently associated with a broad range of mental health problems, including depression or depressed mood, personality disorders, suicidal ideation and/or attempts, and substance use in adulthood. Similarly, numerous studies over the past 20 years have also found spanking to be associated with similar mental health problems in childhood and adulthood, including depression or depressed mood, personality disorders, suicidal ideations and/or attempts and self-injurious behavior, and substance use,” Tracie O. Afifi, PhD, of University of Manitoba, Canada, and colleagues wrote. “However, some of these studies are limited by not simultaneously accounting for other adverse childhood experiences.”

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