Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Another meaningless spanking study

Duke researchers have published yet another study linking spanking to aggression in children. Some people will conclude that spanking is bad if it causes aggression, but that is not the case. A certain amount of aggression is normal and healthy in kids. None of these studies attempt to determine whether the increased aggression is harmful or unhealthy.

They also don't determine cause and effect. Apparently the spanking is not linked to any bad behavior in cultures where spanking is an accepted child-rearing tool. A Duke researcher theorizes:
"If children see that their friends are also being spanked it becomes a less aberrant experience," Lansford tells WebMD. "But when this isn't happening to their friends they may think that they deserve it more because they are a really bad kid or they may have a more negative view of the parent."
Or it may just be that families that deviate from cultural norms in one way are more likely to deviate in other ways. It doesn't necessarily mean that the spanking has any bad effects.

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