I also remember reading this article awhile back. Maybe some here will find it interesting in light of the AP case
Then there are what some researchers call “lumping problems”—when studies are reported as being about spanking but aren’t really about spanking. A 2002 meta-analysis scrutinized data from 88 studies and reported that although physical punishment makes kids more immediately compliant, it also makes them more aggressive in the short and long term and more likely to engage in criminal behavior as adults. This analysis has been cited as some of the strongest, most comprehensive evidence that spanking is dangerous, but it actually looked at far more than just spanking: In 16 percent of the studies, parents were hitting their kids with objects, not with the palms of their hands. It also included punishments such as pinching and slapping. It doesn’t surprise me that kids who are hit with objects or pinched or slapped end up more screwed up than kids who aren’t. But it’s misleading to conclude that these kids were worse off because they were spanked.