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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222226 Find in a Library
Title: Parental Use of Physical Punishment as Related to Family Environment, Psychological Well-Being, and Personality in Undergraduates
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:1-7
Author(s): Corrine E. Leary; Michelle L. Kelley; Jennifer Morrow; Peter J. Mikulka
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Childhood experiences of physical punishment were examined as related to perceptions of family environment during childhood and affective and personality outcomes of college students.
Abstract: Results suggest that experiencing physical discipline as a child may be related to family environment and psychological well-being in young adulthood. Respondents in the higher physical punishment group reported more family adjustment difficulties, more depressive symptoms, and poor personality development. This suggests that individuals who reside in homes that utilize greater physical discipline during childhood may create an environment that is less nurturing, less empathetic to the child's needs, and less able to facilitate the child's psychological well-being. Young adults who experienced higher physical punishment as children reported residing in less positive family environments than respondents who experienced lower physical punishment. Specifically, participants in the higher physical punishment group reported less positive family affect, increased family worries, greater family conflict, and more negative parental relationship behaviors than in the lower physical punishment group. The higher and lower physical punishment groups did not significantly differ on family rituals or family communication. Compared to the low physical punishment group, individuals in the high physical punishment group reported greater nonsupport, increased identity problems, and more negative social relationships. However, the higher physical punishment group did not significantly differ from the lower physical punishment group on the variables of warmth, dominance, and social detachment. As the data reveals the mean differences for these variables, while not significant, were in the expected direction. Due to incongruence of the current results with previous research, it is clear that additional studies are needed to examine the possible relationships between physical punishment and aspects of family environment. Data were collected from 274 undergraduate students (52 males, 222 females) between the ages of 18 and 26 who were attending a large southeastern university. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Family histories; Juvenile personality characteristics; Personality assessment; Punishment
Index Term(s): Assessment (child health and welfare); Child development; Youth development
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