The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes striking a child for any reason, and says spanking can leads to agitation and increased aggression in preschool and school children.
Urging parents to use time-outs or other means of discipline, the AAP warns that spanking in children under 18 months of age increases the risk of injuring them. It also cautions that in older children, frequent spanking is associated with an increased risk of violence.
Moreover, Davis said that a child of 1 year is "developmentally unable to connect the dots... They can't connect the spanking to whatever behavior they have done," he said.
The research was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The significance of depression in new dads has gained attention in recent years, as experts recognize a father's mental health can affect child development and well-being. The incidence of parental depression seems highest during the first year of parenting, the study says.
Awareness of paternal depression is at about the same level now as that of maternal depression 15 years ago, said Dr. Craig Garfield, co-author of a commentary on the study in the same journal issue.
"There's pretty good data in the U.S. and the world that 5 to 10 percent of dads will have depression," added Garfield, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and assistant professor of pediatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill.
He and his colleagues hope more pediatricians will address the possibility of depression during well-child visits, which fathers increasingly attend. (Seventy-seven percent of the dads studied reported talking to their child'
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