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When it comes to disciplining toddlers, spanking doesn't work and it can even make them more aggressive later on, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics

Researchers at Tulane University studied about 2,500 3-year-olds and found that children whose mothers spanked them more than twice in a month were more likely to show higher levels of aggression by the time they turned 5. Researchers said they controlled for the child's initial aggression levels and issues that increase the risk that a child will act aggressively, such as a mother's depression, substance abuse and intimate partner violence.

The study underscores similar findings in other research and is in line with a long held position by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends against corporal punishment. Instead, the group advises parents to consider "time outs" and withholding privileges as more effective ways to discipline a child.

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Nevertheless, most Americans seem to support corporal punishment, the study explains citing a 2005 poll that found 72 percent of adults reported that it was "OK to spank a child."

Do you? What do you think about corporal punishment? What kind of discipline is appropriate and at what ages?

Baltimore Sun photo

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