Health Day reports a new study that suggests you should refrain from spanking your misbehaving youngster.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 12,000 children in the United States and found that those who had been spanked by their parents at age 5 had more behavior problems at ages 6 and 8 than those who had never been spanked.

“Our findings suggest that spanking is not an effective technique and actually makes children’s behavior worse, not better,” said study author Elizabeth Gershoff, a psychological scientist at the University of Texas at Austin.

The increase in behavior problems among children who were spanked could not be explained by child or parent characteristics, or the home environment, according to the study published in the journal Psychological Science.

Dr. Olson Huff’s post on Good Parenting¬†offers alternatives and good reasons to refrain from spanking.