What does the evidence say about physical punishment (slapping, spanking, etc)?

I'm one of those 90s babies who grew up with it both at school and at home. The product of authoritarian gen X parents and teachers.

I've always thought it was unnecessary and probably harmful. But I have recently heard from some scholars that it can be part of an effective discipline strategy and that people who are totally against it exaggerate the evidence for its harmfulness.

Any clarity on this?

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I feel like I’m really struggling with my kids with my preschooler son generally antagonizing and snatching things from his young toddler sister. It’s hard not to give the behavior attention when their interactions constantly devolve into the little one screaming because my son snatched a toy from her and gleefully ran away. Example here but I’m sure anyone with multiple young kids can recognize this type of pattern.

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