Corporal Punishment as a Parental Practice and Anxiety in Pre-adolescent Children

Yosi Yaffe, David Burg


Corporal punishment is the physical punitive measures of parents against children with devastating consequences when bordering on child abuse. This has even led to legislation against corporal punishment while controversy and criticism divides researchers and practitioners as to the prohibition against moderate and functional corporal punishment which may act as an effective method of education. Limited research exists on corporal punishment and its effect on the emotional aspects of children and investigation is required due its inherent and immense cultural importance. We studied the relationship between corporal punishment in the context of parenting style and anxieties in pre-adolescent children from northern Israel (age= 11.5 ± 0.56 yrs, n = 101). A positive association between general level of parental punishment and elevated anxieties was elucidated, mainly for the children of authoritarian parents. In addition, within this group children who experienced high levels of corporal punishment were more anxious. In contrast, this was not observed in children of authoritative parents. Results reported here indicate the apparent moderating role parenting style has on corporal punishment in the context of anxieties in children and conclude that while high level of corporal punishment is harmful, moderate corporal punishment may be harmless to children in specific parenting contexts.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Yosi Yaffe, David Burg

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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