Impulsive Corporal Punishment by Mothers and Antisocial Behavior and Impulsiveness of Children

Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham 03824, USA.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law (Impact Factor: 0.96). 02/1998; 16(3):353-74. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0798(199822)16:33.0.CO;2-O
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This study tested the hypothesis that corporal punishment (CP), such as spanking or slapping a child for purposes of correcting misbehavior, is associated with antisocial behavior (ASB) and impulsiveness by the child. The data were obtained through interviews with a probability sample of 933 mothers of children age 2-14 in two small American cities. Analyses of variance found that the more CP experienced by the child, the greater the tendency for the child to engage in ASB and to act impulsively. These relationships hold even after controlling for family socioeconomic status, the age and sex of the child, nurturance by the mother, and the level of noncorporal interventions by the mother. There were also significant interaction effects of CP with impulsiveness by the mother. When CP was carried out impulsively, it was most strongly related to child impulsiveness and ASB; when CP was done when the mother was under control, the relationship to child behavior problems was reduced but still present. In view of the fact that there is a high risk of losing control when engaged in CP, even by parents who are not usually impulsive, and the fact that impulsive CP is so strongly associated with child behavior problems, the results of this study suggest that CP is an important risk factor for children developing a pattern of impulsive and antisocial behavior which, in turn, may contribute to the level of violence and other crime in society.

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    • "Disciplinary style indicators. The Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus et al., 1998) assesses nonaggressive and aggressive behaviors directed toward the child. Table 1 presents all 14 items that were analyzed in the LCA model. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study assesses fathers??? discipline of their 3-year-old child. Data are from 1,238 mother and father participants in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Latent class analysis (LCA) of nonaggressive and aggressive behaviors, as reported by mothers, indicated four distinct paternal disciplinary profiles: low discipline, low aggression, moderate physical aggression, and high physical and psychological aggression. Serious forms of psychological aggression directed toward the child were uncommon but may identify those fathers most in need of intervention. Use of nonaggressive discipline was high and nearly equivalent among the parenting profiles. However, child aggressive behavior increased as the child???s exposure to paternal aggression increased, even when aggressive discipline was combined with high levels of nonaggressive discipline. Fathers who exhibited more aggression toward their child had higher levels of alcohol use, used more psychological aggression toward the child???s mother, and were more likely to spank their child.
    Child Maltreatment 11/2010; 16(1):51-62. DOI:10.1177/1077559510385841 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    • "To address this question, we chose to examine a severe (Straus et al., 1998) and less acceptable form of CP, but to keep it as distinct as possible from physical abuse. American Academy of Pediatrics (2000) defines corporal punishment as the striking of a child with an open hand on the buttocks or extremities with the intention of modifying behavior without causing physical injury, as an acceptable but less effective strategy than time-out or removal of privileges for reducing undesired behavior. "
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    • "When parents perceive a technique to be normative, they may feel more confident and justified in using it and thus may be more likely to use it in a planful and controlled, rather than impulsive and unregulated, manner. The planful, instrumental use of a disciplinary technique is thought to be less likely to cause fear or anxiety in children or to evoke reactive aggression from children (Holden, Miller, & Harris, 1999; Straus & Mouradian, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the associations of 11 discipline techniques with children's aggressive and anxious behaviors in an international sample of mothers and children from 6 countries and determined whether any significant associations were moderated by mothers' and children's perceived normativeness of the techniques. Participants included 292 mothers and their 8- to 12-year-old children living in China, India, Italy, Kenya, Philippines, and Thailand. Parallel multilevel and fixed effects models revealed that mothers' use of corporal punishment, expressing disappointment, and yelling were significantly related to more child aggression symptoms, whereas giving a time-out, using corporal punishment, expressing disappointment, and shaming were significantly related to greater child anxiety symptoms. Some moderation of these associations was found for children's perceptions of normativeness.
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