In joint research conducted with Harvard University, Akemi Tomoda of the Faculty of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kumamoto University has shown that repeated harsh physical punishment of children aged 4-15 resulted in atrophy of the frontal lobe of the brain. The extent of the atrophy ranged as high as 19%. This atrophy is one cause of depression and behavior disorders. The definition used in the research for repeated harsh physical punishment was slapping the face or spanking the buttocks with a belt 12 times or more a year for three or more years.
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