There is still no evidence that physical punishment is effective or beneficial: Reply to Larzelere, Gunnoe, Ferguson, and Roberts (2019) and Rohner and Melendez-Rhodes (2019).

The authors’ original article (Gershoff et al., 2018) summarized the extensive body of research demonstrating that parents’ use of physical punishment is ineffective and linked with risk of detrimental outcomes for children. In this Reply, the authors agree with several points raised in two commentaries on the article (Larzelere, Gunnoe, Ferguson, & Roberts, 2019; Rohner & Melendez-Rhodes, 2019)–that statistical rigor is needed before making conclusions and that potential contextual moderators need to be considered. However, neither commentary negated the scientific inferences and conclusions of the Gershoff et al. article or presented any convincing evidence that physical punishment is beneficial to children. The preponderance of evidence clearly indicates physical punishment is harmful, a finding that is increasingly being recognized by professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)