Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 187–196

Harsh Discipline and Child Problem Behaviors: The Roles of Positive Parenting and Gender

  • Laura McKee
  • Erin Roland
  • Nicole Coffelt
  • Ardis L. Olson
  • Rex Forehand
  • Christina Massari
  • Deborah Jones
  • Cecelia A. Gaffney
  • Michael S. Zens
Original Article

Abstract

This study examined harsh verbal and physical discipline and child problem behaviors in a community sample of 2,582 parents and their fifth and sixth grade children. Participants were recruited from pediatric practices, and both parents and children completed questionnaire packets. The findings indicated that boys received more harsh verbal and physical discipline than girls, with fathers utilizing more harsh physical discipline with boys than did mothers. Both types of harsh discipline were associated with child behavior problems uniquely after positive parenting was taken into account. Child gender did not moderate the findings, but one dimension of positive parenting (i.e., parental warmth) served to buffer children from the detrimental influences of harsh physical discipline. The implications of the findings for intervention programs are discussed.

Keywords

Physical and verbal discipline Child problem behaviors Positive parenting 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura McKee
    • 1
  • Erin Roland
    • 1
  • Nicole Coffelt
    • 1
  • Ardis L. Olson
    • 2
  • Rex Forehand
    • 1
  • Christina Massari
    • 1
  • Deborah Jones
    • 3
  • Cecelia A. Gaffney
    • 2
  • Michael S. Zens
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Department of Community and Family MedicineDartmouth Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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