Term of Award
Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Chris L. Gibson
Committee Member 1
William L. Smith
Committee Member 2
Substantial research supports the association between corporal punishment and children's behavioral problems, suggesting that punishment leads to both internalizing and externalizing behaviors. However, this research has not been able to discern the direction of causality in this relationship for many reasons, including a lack of experimental data. The purpose of this study is to assess the causal effect of corporal punishment on internalizing and externalizing behaviors by using a Propensity Score Matching (PSM) analysis. This study uses data from waves 1 and 2 of the longitudinal cohort study of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), including 6, 9, 12, and 15 year old cohorts. Results reveal two major findings as they relate to the effects of corporal punishment on children's behavioral outcomes. First, results show that a large amount of selection bias exists before matching occurred. Second, once matching was implemented no causal effect remained for corporal punishment on the proposed outcome measures. Limitations and ways of overcoming them in future research are also discussed.
Morris, Sara Zane, "Causal Effect of Corporal Punishment on Children's Internalizing and Externalizing Behavioral Outcomes: Results from a Propensity Score Matching Analysis" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 608.
Research Data and Supplementary Material