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Medical News & Perspectives
January 16, 2019

American Academy of Pediatrics Says No More Spanking or Harsh Verbal Discipline

JAMA. 2019;321(5):437-439. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18429

The largest professional organization for US pediatricians is taking a strict stance against parents, caregivers, and other adults using spanking, hitting, or slapping to discipline children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released an updated policy statement on corporal punishment—the first major revise since 1998—based on accumulating evidence that physical punishments don’t work in the long term and could even cause unintended harms. The policy also recommends against verbal discipline that causes shame or humiliation.