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Last Updated Wednesday December 13 2017 01:32 AM IST

Physical abuse, punishments may impact your kid's academic performance

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Physical abuse, punishments may impact the academic performance of children The findings showed that children's exposure to mild, harsh and abusive physical abuse at home was associated with decreases in children's cognitive performance.

Is your child not engaging and performing well in classroom activities? It may be the result of physical abuse and punishment that he or she is subjected to at home, researchers have found.

Physical abuse, punishments may impact the academic performance of children Even if physical punishment does not result in serious physical injury, children may experience fear and distress. Photo: Istock

The findings showed that children's exposure to mild, harsh and abusive physical abuse at home was associated with decreases in children's cognitive performance, while non-abusive forms of physical punishment were independently associated with reduced school engagement and increased peer isolation.

Physical abuse, punishments may impact the academic performance of children The researchers noted that even mild physical punishment can develop into physical abuse and have consequences on children's cognitive and social school functioning. Photo: Istock

Even if physical punishment does not result in serious physical injury, children may experience fear and distress, and this stress has been found to negatively impact brain structure, development and overall well-being.

"This punishment style is meant to inflict minor pain so the child will change their behaviour to avoid future punishment, but it does not give children the opportunity to learn how to behave appropriately through explanation and reasoning," said Sarah Font, assistant professor at the Pennsylvania State University.

Further, the researchers noted that even mild physical punishment can develop into physical abuse and have consequences on children's cognitive and social school functioning.

Physical abuse, punishments may impact the academic performance of children Stress from physical abuse has been found to negatively impact brain structure, development and overall well-being. Photo: Istock

"This suggests that preventing physical abuse could promote children's cognitive performance," Font said while parents should be educated on alternative forms of punishment.

For the study, published in Child Abuse and Neglect, over 650 children and their caregivers were examined in three areas of physical punishment: mild corporal punishment, harsh corporal punishment and physical abuse.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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