Children who are smacked when young are more likely to be successful, study finds Last updated at 1:39 PM on 03rd January 2010 Disciplined: Children who have been physically admonished at a young age performed better on all counts. Children who are smacked by parents often turn out more successful than those who have not, research has found. The study concluded that children who had been physically disciplined when they were young, between the ages of 2 and 6, were performing better as teenagers on almost every measure that was taken into consideration than those who had never been smacked. It was only in cases where it continued beyond the age of 12 that the children were found to be affected negatively, resulting in a dip on performance indicators. The results of the US-based study undermines the efforts of various campaigners who have been trying to have physical punishment outlawed in the UK, who have claimed that it causes long-term damage to the children. Currently, UK law allows parents to chastise their children as long as it does not leave a physical mark such as a bruise - the government has said it is reluctant to criminalise parents purely for disciplining their children with the best of intentions. 'The claims made for not spanking children failed to hold up. They are not consistent with the data,' Marjorie Gunnoe, professor of psychology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told the Sunday Times. 'I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool - you just don't use it for all your jobs,' she added. Gunnoe, who lead the research, said 2,600 people were reviewed, of whom about a quarter had never been smacked. It also included detailed interviews of about 179 teenagers who were asked how old they were when they were last smacked and how often they were smacked as a child. She then looked at many outcomes parents generally night want for their teenage children such as academic rank, volunteer work, college aspirations, hope for the future, and confidence in their ability to earn a living when they grow up. It emerged that those who had been spanked just when they were young were doing a little better as teenagers than those whod never been spanked on almost every measure. Research of this kind is rare, given that physical punishment was not viewed as taboo until fairly recently. However, in a recent poll, more than 70% of Britons said they would support children's charities in imposing a ban on hitting of any kind as a form of discipline.