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Nobody has randomly assigned children to receive different types of parenting or different types of discipline strategies, per se. ... So it's difficult for anybody to say spanking a child causes that child later on to be more aggressive, even though there are theories to suggest that could be why the correlation exists, although all the evidence is correlational, there's little correlational evidence that it's an effective strategy, and if it were effective, Rebecca Ryan should see correlational evidence.
If it were an effective strategy, you would either see no correlation between spanking and child behavior, or you would see a correlation that's the opposite of what you do see, what you see is a positive correlation between spanking and higher levels of behavior problems. If it were effective you should see the opposite.
There probably is reverse causation, but one of the things that some of the longitudinal research suggests is that when you look at kids over time -- so controlling for baseline rates of misbehavior -- children who are disciplined with corporal punishment versus those who are not, who have the same kinds of behavior problems, show increases in behavior problems over time in a way that children who aren't disciplined that way don't, so yes, there is probably some truth to the idea that kids who are predisposed to misbehavior for whatever reason are more likely to be spanked by parents who use that form of discipline than kids who are less likely to misbehave for whatever reason.
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