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Spanking infants is common among depressed dads

Mar 13, 2011 8:36:00 PM - thestate.com
Just like new moms, new fathers can be depressed, and a study found a surprising number of sad dads spanked their 1-year-olds.

About 40 percent of depressed fathers in a survey said they’d spanked kids that age, versus just 13 percent of fathers who weren’t depressed. Most dads also had had recent contact with their child’s doctor — a missed opportunity to get help, authors of the study said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and many child development experts warn against spanking children of any age. Other studies have shown that kids who are spanked are at risk of being physically abused and becoming aggressive themselves.

The researchers said spanking is especially troubling in children who are only 1, because they could get injured and they “are unlikely to understand the connection between their behavior and subsequent punishment.”

The study was released online today in the journal Pediatrics.

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