Predicting the use of corporal punishment: family structure, socio-economic status and parental stress

Baras, Eden (2012). Predicting the use of corporal punishment: family structure, socio-economic status and parental stress Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Baras, Eden
Thesis Title Predicting the use of corporal punishment: family structure, socio-economic status and parental stress
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Peter Newcombe
Total pages 96
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Research on parental use of corporal punishment has found that it is associated with negative psychological outcomes in childhood and into adulthood. Little research, however, has investigated precursors to the use of this form of discipline. The present study seeks to identify factors that predict parents’ use of corporal punishment. One hundred and thirty five parents (M age = 43.45 years, SD = 5.57, 80 mothers and 55 fathers) participated either online or by post by completing self-report measures of their discipline strategies (Dimensions of Discipline Inventory; Straus & Fauchier, 2007) and parenting stress (Parental Stress Scale; Berry & Jones, 1995). Demographic data and family structure variables (e.g., number of children, birth order) were also collected. Forty-eight children aged between 9 and 13 years (M age = 10.90, SD = 0.83, 15 males and 33 females) from a South-East Brisbane school were also surveyed during school time, using a self-report measure of parental discipline strategies. It was hypothesised that number of children, birth order, age spacing and socio-economic status would predict parents’ use of corporal punishment, and that parenting stress would mediate these relationships. Results indicated mixed support for these hypotheses. Number of children, birth order and parenting stress were significantly associated with corporal punishment. Socio-economic status had an indirect effect on corporal punishment through a process of parenting stress. Lower age spacing (average age gap between siblings) was not associated with corporal punishment, however, higher age spacing was associated with more positive forms of discipline. These findings provide insight into a model of family structure and socio-economic factors that might best predict parents’ use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary method, and thus offer a potential target for parenting programs.
Keyword Parental use of corporal punishment
Family structure
Socio-economic status
Parental stress

 
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Created: Thu, 21 Feb 2013, 09:43:52 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology