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Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Against Spanking Children

Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Against Spanking Children

Human development and family sciences professor Elizabeth Gershoff, an internationally renowned expert on the effects of corporal punishment on children, helped inform a new policy statement from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with her extensive body of research on the topic.

The statement, "Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children," warns against aversive disciplinary strategies like spanking and shaming children. It also guides pediatricians and child health care providers to educate parents about positive and effective discipline.

Recent studies from Gershoff and her colleagues have found that corporal punishment like spanking is not effective. It can even worsen behavior, driving children towards aggression and increasing their risk of mental health disorders and cognition problems.

"There are practical reasons to stop spanking," Gershoff said. "The main one is that it does not work…. Nothing is perfect, but telling children clearly what you expect from them and then praising them when they do it is the best approach to discipline."

Gershoff authored an opinion piece published by CNN following the policy statement. Read it here: The era of spanking is finally over

Gershoff's role in the recommendation has also been covered by local and national media outlets. Read more:

Spanking Is Ineffective and Harmful to Children, Pediatricians' Group Says, New York Times

University of Texas professor's research went into new anti-spanking policy from American Academy of Pediatrics, Austin American-Statesman

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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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