Use of spanking for 3-year-old children and associated intimate partner aggression or violence

Catherine A. Taylor, Shawna J. Lee, Neil Guterman, Janet C. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to examine associations between maternal and paternal use of corporal punishment (CP) for 3-year-old children and intimate partner aggression or violence (IPAV) in a population-based sample. METHODS: The study sample (N = 1997) was derived from wave 3 of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Mother and father reports regarding their use of CP and their IPAV victimization were analyzed. IPAV included coercion and nonphysical and physical aggression. RESULTS: Approximately 65% of the children were spanked at least once in the previous month by 1 or both parents. Of couples who reported any family aggression (87%), 54% reported that both CP and IPAV occurred. The most prevalent patterns of co-occurrence involved both parents as aggressors either toward each other (ie, bilateral IPAV) or toward the child. The presence of bilateral IPAV essentially doubled the odds that 1 or both parents would use CP, even after controlling for potential confounders such as parenting stress, depression, and alcohol or other drug use. Of the 5 patterns of cooccurring family aggression assessed, the "single aggressor" model, in which only 1 parent aggressed in the family, received the least amount of empirical support. CONCLUSIONS: Despite American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations against the use of CP, CP use remains common in the United States. CP prevention efforts should carefully consider assumptions made about patterns of co-occurring aggression in families, given that adult victims of IPAV, including even minor, nonphysical aggression between parents, have increased odds of using CP with their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-424
Number of pages10
JournalPediatrics
Volume126
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Aggression
Violence
Punishment
Parents
Mothers
Coercion
Crime Victims
Parenting
Fathers
Alcohols
Depression
Pediatrics

Keywords

  • Corporal punishment
  • Domestic violence
  • Epidemiology
  • Intimate partner aggression or violence
  • Parenting
  • Physical punishment
  • Spank
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Use of spanking for 3-year-old children and associated intimate partner aggression or violence. / Taylor, Catherine A.; Lee, Shawna J.; Guterman, Neil; Rice, Janet C.

In: Pediatrics, Vol. 126, No. 3, 2010, p. 415-424.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Taylor, Catherine A. ; Lee, Shawna J. ; Guterman, Neil ; Rice, Janet C. / Use of spanking for 3-year-old children and associated intimate partner aggression or violence. In: Pediatrics. 2010 ; Vol. 126, No. 3. pp. 415-424.
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