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May 1997

Attitudes of Academic Pediatricians With a Specific Interest in Child Abuse Toward the Spanking of Children

Author Affiliations

Pediatrics East 1112 Gene Reed Rd Birmingham, AL 35235-2405

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(5):531-532. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170420101024

I found the article by Fargason et al,1 published in the October 1996 issue of the Archives, to be especially meaningless and biased, and I wonder why it was published.

It is a gross oversimplification of the whole issue of spanking as discipline. The scenarios as stated in the Tables1 bypass any thought process that may precede any adult's decision to spank or not to spank. Although "context" is alluded to, there seems to be no effort to elaborate in the article. The survey scenarios are left uncluttered by what the prevailing circumstances are, eg, why did the 2-year-old run into the street? Was the child being chased? Was the child chasing a ball? Why does the 5-year-old refuse to go to bed? Would you spank a child for being afraid of the dark or "monsters"? Why did the 8-year-old hit a playmate? Was the child responding to