American Academy of Pediatrics Issues Statement on Spanking

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a policy statement saying that children do not benefit from spanking. Spanking is defined as “non-injurious, open-handed hitting with the intention of modifying child behavior.”

The policy recommends that pediatricians advise against spanking, replacing a 20-year-old guidance that recommended that pediatricians “encourage” parents not to spank. A 2016 analysis of multiple studies found that children do not benefit from spanking, as it does not appear to be successful in modifying behavior. Recent studies have also shown that corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression and makes it more likely for children to express defiance
in the future.

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