Research Publication Title

The Influence of Parental Disciplinary Strategies on Social Competence in Children

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Tsu-Ming Chiang: tmchiang@gcsu.edu

Keywords

Social competence, discipline, child behavior, parental strategies, physical punishment

Abstract

Past literature suggests that parental physical punishment use can result in emotional and behavioral problems in children, especially when children are younger than 22 months (Scott et al., 2013). Taillieu and Brownbridge (2013) found that corporal punishment and verbal aggression used by parents resulted in children internalizing problems extended into adulthood. Results also showed more aggressive parental disciplines used, more likely they were associated with anxiety, depression, and low self- esteem as children aged. Physical punishment was suggested to have the same short-term compliance as time out, but foster less of a long-term enduring behavior changes (Blum, 2016). This finding suggests that physical punishment has no preeminent benefit over non-physical punishment as a disciplinary strategy. Despite extensive research done in documenting the effects of physical punishment on children’s aggression, past research often consisted of participants predominately from middle-class, European American parents. Very limited research is conducted in families from lower income, or diverse groups of parents. The present study investigates primarily from low-income African American families with children ages 3 and 4. More than 67 children from a local head start program participated in the study. Parental surveys were sent home to obtain basic demographic information, presence of positive and negative behaviors in children and disciplinary strategies used to regulate children’s misbehaviors. Children’s behavior and emotional competence were assessed by their homeroom teachers completing the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE). This study expects to find a link between more authoritarian parental disciplinary strategies and reported aggression and low social competence in children by their teachers at school. The preliminary results showed an interesting link of parental reports of physical punishment and social competence, contrary to the results found in the past literature. Data analyses are underway. The final results and implications will be shared and discussed at the conference.

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The Influence of Parental Disciplinary Strategies on Social Competence in Children

Past literature suggests that parental physical punishment use can result in emotional and behavioral problems in children, especially when children are younger than 22 months (Scott et al., 2013). Taillieu and Brownbridge (2013) found that corporal punishment and verbal aggression used by parents resulted in children internalizing problems extended into adulthood. Results also showed more aggressive parental disciplines used, more likely they were associated with anxiety, depression, and low self- esteem as children aged. Physical punishment was suggested to have the same short-term compliance as time out, but foster less of a long-term enduring behavior changes (Blum, 2016). This finding suggests that physical punishment has no preeminent benefit over non-physical punishment as a disciplinary strategy. Despite extensive research done in documenting the effects of physical punishment on children’s aggression, past research often consisted of participants predominately from middle-class, European American parents. Very limited research is conducted in families from lower income, or diverse groups of parents. The present study investigates primarily from low-income African American families with children ages 3 and 4. More than 67 children from a local head start program participated in the study. Parental surveys were sent home to obtain basic demographic information, presence of positive and negative behaviors in children and disciplinary strategies used to regulate children’s misbehaviors. Children’s behavior and emotional competence were assessed by their homeroom teachers completing the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE). This study expects to find a link between more authoritarian parental disciplinary strategies and reported aggression and low social competence in children by their teachers at school. The preliminary results showed an interesting link of parental reports of physical punishment and social competence, contrary to the results found in the past literature. Data analyses are underway. The final results and implications will be shared and discussed at the conference.