Yelling at Your Kids Leads to Worse Behavior
Study suggests that scolding children doesn't help
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 5, 2013 3:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Yelling at your rotten kids won't make them any less rotten—and might actually make things worse, a new study suggests. Researchers from the universities of Pittsburgh and Michigan found that 13-year-olds whose parents had used "harsh verbal discipline" on them tended to see a greater increase in behavior problems the next year, the Wall Street Journal reports. They also exhibited symptoms of depression. The jump was similar to that seen in kids who'd been spanked or otherwise physically disciplined.

The study, which was published yesterday by Child Development, followed 976 kids from age 13 to 14, surveying both the children and their parents. They found that the scolding-to-future-bad-behavior corollary held true no matter how warm the parent-child relationship was otherwise. "You feel a lot more responsible for your behavior when you're being corrected by someone you respect," explains one child psychiatrist not involved in the study. "Anything you do to berate or shame a kid erodes that power you have." And whatever you do, don't act like this guy.

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Showing 3 of 54 comments
Sep 12, 2013 12:37 PM CDT
No shyt. Normal parents already know that.
Sep 6, 2013 2:00 PM CDT
Go GREEN: Don't Have Kids!
Sep 6, 2013 6:11 AM CDT
People need to remember that what works for one child does not necessarily work for another. And even then, what works one day might not work the next. There are times I can have a rational, reasonable conversation with one or the other of my kids, and they straighten up right away. Other times, I have to raise my voice, or pop them on the butt, for them to get the idea. The idea isn't to hurt them in any way, not physically or emotionally. I don't beat them, I don't berate them, but they also need to know that their actions have consequences, and those consequences need to be effective at the given moment.