MSNBC reports that fathers suffering from depression tend to spank their kids more. Some people would immediately think this is a no-brainer.
Dr. R. Neal Davis and company wrote about their findings – which were particularly disturbing since the kids in the study were one year old. ONE. As in, twelve months, not counting time in the Hotel Uterus.
What is interesting is that fathers deemed “depressed” by the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form (codename: WHOCIDISF), were actually likely to have also talked to the child’s doctor within the last year.
The findings are in the latest Pediatrics journal, which is about as dry as eating a bird’s nest right off the branch. Don’t believe me? I’ll let Pediatrics prove the only way they know how – with their own wording:
Results Overall, 7% of fathers had depression. In bivariate analyses, depressed fathers were more likely than nondepressed fathers to report spanking their 1-year-old children in the previous month (41% compared with 13%; P < .01). In multivariate analyses, depressed fathers were less likely to report reading to their children ≥3 days in a typical week (adjusted odds ratio: 0.38 [95% confidence interval: 0.15–0.98]) and much more likely to report spanking (adjusted odds ratio: 3.92 [95% confidence interval: 1.23–12.5]). Seventy-seven percent of depressed fathers reported talking to their children’s doctor in the previous year.
One conclusion was that pediatricians screen fathers for depression (moms too, you dicks), and then suggest a treatment if the father shows signs. Since the depressed fathers in the study were spanking children that were too young to know why they were being hit, this could prevent injuries and possible lifetime psychological effects – on father and child.
The easiest way to look at it – if depression is a feeling of helplessness, as if you don’t have an answer or way to express your extreme emotion – and in this case, so much so that you’re more likely to use physical violence, this makes you literally a big kid, as illustrated by – go figure – your own kids. Before your children knew all of the words you tirelessly taught them – they used physical interaction as communication. The equation isn’t really that simple, but it’s close.
For example, if your kid was playing with a truck, and another child took it from them, even innocently, your kid, I’m sure, hit or bit the other kid. This is because your kid didn’t have an immediate response or solution to what they just felt emotionally. “WTF,” your kid would say if he were more articulate, “I’m playing with this truck, and right now, I love it. If you can play with anything else for another couple minutes, you can have a turn with this truck when I get bored.” When you spank your kid, you’re admitting that you don’t have all the answers.
To some people, this is okay. We won’t debate the spanking-no-spanking issue at this moment because it runs deep. Back in 2008, a survey on spanking showed that over 70% of men and over 60% of women believe in, and this is a quote from the survey, “a good, hard spanking.”
OMG, that’s like 130% of people! Insurmountable numbers!
It’s no secret – raising a kid is as difficult as it is rewarding. It is the most complicated and emotional set of events a man could ever fathom. And if it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. But in the meantime – food for thought: if you do believe in spanking, think before you hit. Are you hitting your kid because you’re at a loss for words? Are you punishing your child for your own lack of answers? If you’re not, then swat the crap out of that brat. Booyah!
Pro Tip: Don’t ever Google “spanking punishment” for perfectly innocent purposes on a public or work computer.