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a letter from Nancy Burgoyne, Chief Clinical Officer

Recent events in Florida have again put in front of us an outrageous scene of senseless violence. Violence in schools, once unimaginable, has become a disturbingly frequent event. As individuals, and certainly as caregivers for children of all ages, we grapple with how to respond.

Spanking Revisited

Researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Michigan reviewed fifty years of studies representing the findings across more than 160,000 children. What they found was that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to show aggressive and anti-social behavior and to manifest mental health and cognitive difficulties. These researchers concluded that spanking harms children in ways not unlike the harm from physical abuse.
Problems in intimate relationships are associated with a host of negative psychological and physical health consequences, such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease (Hawkins & Booth, 2005; Fincham & Beach, 2010; Whisman, 2007). Researchers have identified several types of interpersonal behaviors among couples that predict relationship distress or break-up/divorce; these are referred to as danger signs. Danger signs can take many forms, from aggressive behavior expressed on a first date to a long-term pattern of repeated escalation or withdrawal during discussions and arguments. Early and accurate awareness of danger signs may help individuals make healthy decisions about how to proceed within a new or long-term relationship.

Violent Gaming

While kids everywhere play violent videogames, parents wonder about negative effects from all that shooting, maiming and killing. Some scientific research is worth our attention.