Pediatricians: spanking can bring long-term harm

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its advice against spanking and other physical punishment, saying it has the potential for long-term psychological injury. 

The academy — America's most influential pediatricians' group — says research since its 1998 discipline policy shows such punishment can lead to aggression, brain changes, substance abuse and suicidal behavior in adulthood. 

While some parents believe spanking can lead to short-term improvement, studies show it's no more effective than timeouts, taking away favorite toys or reducing screen time. 

The academy is also warning against verbally abusing and shaming kids, saying research links such tactics with depression and behavioral problems in teens.

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