Feature

Many behavioral researchers worry that when they speak to the media their research results will be misreported. Those who study parental discipline and spanking have particular cause for concern due to some past experiences in which researchers were labeled as pro-spanking or against spanking when those were not their expressed positions.

"I think we'd all agree that communicating what we know about parents' disciplinary styles is important, but I also understand researchers trepidation about how the media are going to report his or her findings," said Rhea K. Farberman, APA's executive director for member and public communications.

Happily, most of the national media accurately captured the caveats of Baum-rind's research, including such modifiers as "mild" or "occasional" in their reporting.

"We found no evidence for unique detrimental effects of normative physical punishment," researcher Diana Baumrind, PhD, was quoted as reporting in the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Both articles went on to report Baumrind's belief that "what really matters is the child-rearing context."

--R. BALLIE