skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228664 Find in a Library
Title: Corporal Punishment by Mothers and Development of Children's Cognitive Ability: A Longitudinal Study of Two Nationally Representative Age Cohorts
Journal: Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma  Volume:18  Issue:5  Dated:July-August 2009  Pages:459-483
Author(s): Murray A. Straus; Mallie J. Paschall
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the hypothesis that a parent’s use of corporal punishment (CP) with a child, such as slapping his/her hand or “spanking,” is linked with the child’s restricted development of cognitive ability.
Abstract: Although almost all U.S. children experience at least some CP, the differences in how often mothers use it provides sufficient variance in CP to test the hypothesis that the more CP experienced by a child, the slower the development of cognitive ability. Multiple regression and ANCOVA confirmed this hypothesis. Children 2-4 years old who experienced no CP in either of the two sample weeks gained a mean of 5.5 cognitive-ability points. (on a scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15) relative to children whose mothers used CP. Similarly, children 5-9 years old whose mothers did not use CP in either week gained a mean of about 2 points relative to children whose mothers used CP. Conversely, for both age groups, CP was associated with a decrease from Time 1 (T1) to Time 2 (T2) cognitive-ability test score. These findings are consistent with the two previous studies of the relationship of CP to cognitive ability (Power and Chapieski, 1986). The sample was drawn from women who were first interviewed in 1979 as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. This study included an oversample of low-income and minority youth. The 1,510 children in this study were those with no missing data on any of the variables needed for the study. For both age groups, cognitive ability was measured at both T1 and 4 years later at T2. Tests for cognitive ability at each of these times were age appropriate. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 50 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child development; Corporal punishment; Long term health effects of child abuse; Youth development
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.