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It's Medical Science - Smacking is Beneficial

Thursday, 6th December 2007

Not Rocket... It's Medical Science - Smacking is Beneficial

New research by American pediatricians reveal it is okay to smack children. Pro family MP Gordon Copeland said the latest research was further support for the need to repeal the "no smacking for correction" Act.

The independent MP quoted from a report released last month by The American College of Pediatricians (ACP). ACP are a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals specialising in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. Their report encouraged correct use of smacking.

The report's principal author Dr Den Trumbull found smacking "a useful and necessary part of a successful disciplinary plan."

The smacking debate has been raging in America. A survey found 94% of American parents use physical punishment. Mr Copeland said despite those numbers, like New Zealand, that was not enough to deter opponents taking an unconditional anti-smacking for correction position.

The ACP report accused opponents of using unscientific research methods to back their argument. It said "the studies cited for showing adverse outcomes of disciplinary spanking often ignore critical research methods necessary to reach objective conclusions."

Instead, ACP found that a smack, "used after a single warning before time-out reduced the necessary time-outs by 74% without sacrificing any effectiveness of the behavioural parent training."

Mr Copeland said he endorsed the report's findings that other "approaches" to discipline were also necessary, "The ACP report is balanced because it shows that 'parents should not solely rely upon disciplinary spanking to accomplish control of their child's behaviour.' " Quoting from the report the Future NZ leader said the report was not an open licence for smacking. "It's plain the study is analytical because it speaks of parents trying other approaches rather than 'increasing the intensity of the spanking,' when that method failed to change a behaviour" he said. The report went on to state 'Like any corrective measure, its application requires a proactive rather than reactive approach to produce an optimal outcome'.

Meanwhile ACP had also attracted publicity when it recently uncovered abuse of a medical process known as Pre natal Genetic Testing (PNGT). PNGT can be used to establish if a disease exists in a foetus. ACP uncovered some US doctors were using the process to recommend abortions in cases where PNGT detected non threatening, treatable diseases.

ENDS

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