Two recent articles published in the ARCHIVES1,2 argue that they have found evidence for "causal" relationships between spanking and antisocial behavior in children, such that increased spanking causes antisocial behavior. Unfortunately, their methods do not allow for such conclusions. In fact, their methods do not allow for any conclusions at all. I believe it is particularly important to point out these mistakes because they have become commonplace in the social sciences3 and it is important that these mistakes do not become commonplace in medical research.
Miller TQ. Drawing Conclusions About Temporal Order. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(3):305–309. doi: