On SAGE Insight: Corporal punishment and adult antisocial behavior

Article title: Corporal punishment and adult antisocial behavior: A comparison of dyadic concordance types and an evaluation of mediating mechanisms in Asia, Europe, and North America

Special Section: Parental Discipline and Child Adjustment

From International Journal of Behavioral Development

Corporal punishment (CP) is extremely common throughout the world and often begins when children are very young. A wealth of research suggests that youth whose parents use corporal punishment are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior during childhood and adolescence. This study uses data collected from young adults in Asia, Europe, and North America. Results provide needed insight concerning the relationship between CP and adult antisocial behavior outside the US and Canada. Results also suggest that CP experienced in childhood is associated not only with externalizing behavior or other such outcomes in childhood and adolescence, but also with long-term antisocial behavior in early adulthood. Evidence suggests that CP’s association with adult antisocial behavior depends on which parent or parents engaged in CP. In particular, experiencing CP at the hands of both parents seems to be more strongly and more consistently associated with adult antisocial behaviour. Finally there is evidence that CP is associated with lower self-control and with lower social concern which may go some way to explaining the link with adult antisocial behavior.

Abstract

A wealth of research suggests that youth whose parents use corporal punishment are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior during childhood and adolescence. Questions remain, however, about: (a) whether this relationship extends reliably to samples outside the US and Canada; (b) whether corporal punishment is associated with antisocial behavior in adulthood rather than just childhood and adolescence; (c) whether the association depends on which parents use corporal punishment; and (d) what theoretical mechanisms account for the link between corporal punishment and antisocial behavior. The present study uses data collected from young adults in Asia, Europe, and North America to address each of these issues. Net of statistical controls, including retrospective measures of childhood misbehavior and abusive parenting, findings reveal that antisocial behavior in all three regions is higher among young adults who report experiencing corporal punishment in childhood. Overall, this relationship is least likely to emerge when corporal punishment comes only from fathers and most likely to emerge when it comes from both parents. Further, results suggest that self-control and social concern, but not conventional attitudes, mediate a portion of the association between retrospective reports of childhood corporal punishment and antisocial behavior in early adulthood.

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Article details
Corporal punishment and adult antisocial behavior: A comparison of dyadic concordance types and an evaluation of mediating mechanisms in Asia, Europe, and North America
First Published 9 Jun 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0165025417708342
From International Journal of Behavioral Development

 

 

 

 

     
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