DALLAS – The old saying is if you spare the rod you'll spoil the child. But a new study finds spanking a child may do more long-term harm than good.
The study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found a high percentage of American parents spank or slap their children. And it suggests spanking could lead to mental health issues down the road.
It equates harsh physical punishment with increased mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, severe personality disorders and even depression.
Many people who shared their opinions with FOX 4 chalked that up to spanking that turns into abuse.
That's one reason Chad Lemkee has decided not to do it with his 6-year-old son.
"I don't believe in it. I think punishment, the time out, sitting in the corner and things like that, does good," he said. "Taking away the Nintendo or the Game Boy or the PS3 or the TV is enough of a punishment for him."
But he was in the minority. Most people said they do and would use spanking as a form of discipline.
Kade Lowe is only 18-months-old so his parents are taking a limited approach.
"Our point is not to really spank him unless he needs it. It's don't over do it. Unless it's just necessary, that's the only time we would actually do it," Keith Lowe said.
Felicia Davis said if any one of her four children between the ages of 6 and 12 steps out of line she will swat them on the bottom no matter where they are.
"When they mess up, you know, sometimes sticking their nose in the corner just don't work," she said.
Davis and other parents believe if done correctly and without anger, the technique works.
More stories: MyFoxDFW.com