The intergenerational transmission of physical punishment: Differing mechanisms in mothers' and fathers' endorsement?

Erika S. Lunkenheimer, Jennifer E. Kittler, Sheryl L. Olson, Felicia Kleinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the intergenerational transmission of physical punishment (PP) and whether marital satisfaction moderated this transmission. Participants were 241 mothers and 107 fathers with a three year-old child who completed a semi-structured interview assessing their endorsement of disciplinary methods and the methods their parents used to discipline them. Marital satisfaction was assessed using the Conflicts and Problem Solving Scales. Different predictive models were obtained for mothers and fathers. For mothers, socioeconomic status (SES) and their own mother's use of PP significantly predicted their current endorsement of PP. For fathers, SES and perceived harshness of childhood discipline predicted current endorsement of PP. Marital satisfaction moderated the intergenerational transmission of PP for fathers, but not mothers. Results indicated that PP by the same-sex parent and SES are important factors in its intergenerational transmission, and that the effects of childhood PP on current endorsement may be more direct for mothers and indirect for fathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-519
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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