Predictors of Adult Attitudes Toward Corporal Punishment of Children

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Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp. 1285-1304

Using data collected by a telephone survey of 1000 adult residents of Quebec, this study looked at predictors of attitudes towards spanking children. Results showed that 66.4% of participants were spanked in childhood. Older participants were more in favour of spanking than younger ones. The more participants reported spanking in their own childhoods, the more they approved of it as a method of discipline. Participants who had sustained severe physical violence and who had felt threatened or humiliated by their parents in childhood were least in favour of spanking. Positive attitudes towards spanking correlated most strongly with a belief that corporal punishment is not physically dangerous. Overall, predictors used in the analysis explained 15% of the variance in attitudes towards spanking.

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