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CMAJ
CMAJ - March 21, 2000JAMC - le 21 mars 2000

Heat and light in the childhood spanking debate

CMAJ 2000;162:757


See responses from: H.L. MacMillan et al; M.A. Straus
Harriet MacMillan and colleagues acknowledge that a limitation of their study [full article]1 is inaccurate recall of events before age 5 and they concede that the spankings received by the respondents in their study may have been a response to their behavioural problems rather than the cause. What is not mentioned is that individuals with the disorders considered in this study are possibly more likely to have a negative bias regarding their early recollections. The "linear association" implied in the interpretation is more an expression of current fashion than of objective analysis.

Philip Whatley
Family physician
Emo, Ont.
whatley@voyageur.ca

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Reference

  1. MacMillan HL, Boyle MH, Wong MYY, Duku EK, Fleming JE, Walsh CA. Slapping and spanking in childhood and its association with lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a general population sample. CMAJ 1999;161(7):805-9.

© 2000 Canadian Medical Association or its licensors