Saturday, October 07, 2006

Spanner in the works for Sue Bradford

Fresh New Zealand research, unlike other studies, has compared outcomes for children who were smacked only with the open hand as opposed to having experienced other forms of physical discipline.

The project appeared to be the world's first long-term study to separate people who had merely been smacked with an open hand, lead author of the physical punishment part of the Dunedin study psychologist Jane Millichamp said.

"Study members in the 'smacking only' category of punishment appeared to be particularly high-functioning and achieving members of society," she said.

In terms of aggression, substance abuse, adult convictions and school achievement, this group had "similar or even slightly better outcomes" than those who were not smacked.

Dr Millichamp said the problem with a lot of studies was that they lumped a range of physical punishments together. She said she had not found any evidence that an occasional mild smack with an open hand on the clothed behind or the leg or hand was harmful or instilled violence in children.

Dr Millichamp acknowledged this was not a popular thing to say.

The things you see

Driving along behind an old, smart, black chevrolet station wagon I pondered its registration plate. MORBID. I figured the youngish driver must have bought an ex-hearse from an undertaker and all his mates said, "How gross, How morbid."

I mean, it wouldn't have been in work, would it?

Which reminded me of an item I heard on the Paul Holmes Breakfast show last week about the top twenty funeral songs from the UK. (Number 18 was Every Breathe You Take by The Police :-0)

I could only find the top ten. They are (drum roll....)

Funeral Songs Top Ten
1. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
2. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
3. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
4. The Best - Tina Turner
5. Angels - Robbie Williams
6. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry And The Pacemakers
7. Candle In The Wind - Elton John
8. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
9. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon And Garfunkel
10. Time To Say Goodbye - Sarah Brightman

How awful. British funerals must be right up there with Battersby weddings.

Australian child abuse stats - snap

Listening to radio and watching TV it's easy to gain the impression that NZ fares far worse in terms of certain social problems eg child abuse. But I notice that Australian child abuse statistics are uncannily similar to ours. There were 252,000 child protection notifications in 2004/05 . Multiplying our incidence, 53,097 over the same period, by a factor of 4.9 produces 260,175.

Which then begs the question, why are the rates so similar? Do the rates reflect a true incidence of abuse or the level of paranoia and suspicion created by the abuse industry? The conditions that lead to reporting may be more malleable than the actual rate of abuse.

On a very loosely related topic (babies of teenagers are more likely to be abused or neglected AND I'm too lazy to start a new post) Keisha Castle Hughes is reported to be expecting a baby at 16. Too young in my book.

Still, she's not on her own. Last year 373 16 year-olds gave birth. 61 percent were Maori.

With six hundred and twelve 16 and 17 year-old single mums on a benefit I think we taxpayers can take a legitimate interest.