Predictors of parents’ physical disciplinary practices

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christina M. Rodriguez, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective: This study examined how childhood history of discipline (1) related to ratings of how severe and typical punishments were; and (2) predicted parents’ use of discipline techniques. The influence of child culpability on these ratings was also investigated. Method: Ninety-nine New Zealand parents rated 12 physical discipline scenarios varying in discipline severity and perceived child culpability. Parents judged how severe and typical they considered the disciplines depicted in the scenarios and reported on how often they had experienced such discipline as children and how often they had used them with their own children. Results: When the child was perceived to be at fault, parents rated the discipline depicted as less severe, considered the technique more typical, reported they had been similarly disciplined more frequently, and applied such discipline to their child more frequently. Childhood history of a discipline was related to the parent’s use of that method, and the parents judged techniques they used with their own children as less severe and more typical of methods of discipline. History of discipline and severity judgments were the best predictors of parents’ disciplinary practices. Conclusions: Although the findings support the cycle of violence theory, more complex potential pathways to abusive parenting, including the variables in this study, are proposed.

Additional Information

Child Abuse & Neglect, 23(7), 651-657
Language: English
Date: 1999
Physical discipline, Discipline history, Culpability, parental behavior

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