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Children's assessments of corporal punishment and other disciplinary practices: The role of age, race, SES, and exposure to spanking

Authors
Journal
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
0193-3973
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2009.11.003
Keywords
  • Child Discipline
  • Child Attitudes
  • Corporal Punishment
  • Spanking
  • Racial Differences
  • Socioeconomic Differences
Disciplines
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract African-American and Anglo-American children's assessments of four disciplinary methods (spanking, reasoning, withdrawing privileges, and time-out) were investigated with 108 children ages 6–10 years old and one of their parents. Children watched videos depicting a child being disciplined and then rated each discipline method. Reasoning was rated as most fair, spanking as least fair. Spanking was regarded most effective for immediate compliance but not for long-term behavior change. Children with medium high levels of exposure to spanking were more likely to regard it as the best disciplinary technique compared with children with low or high exposure levels. Younger children rated spanking as fairer than older children. No differences were found between African-American and Anglo-American children's assessments after controlling for exposure to spanking and socioeconomic status. Implications about the role of children's assessments of discipline for internalization are discussed.

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