Child and Family Development (B.S.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Dr. Trent Maurer
This study examines college students’ perceptions of the use of physical punishment as a discipline technique. Factors such as social acceptability, effectiveness, short and long-term behavior recurrence, and abusiveness were assessed. Current literature shows that the use of corporal punishment in childhood leads to negative developmental consequences across the lifespan. Additionally, physical punishment has not shown any effectiveness for either short- or long-term behavior correction (Gershoff, 2013). This study incorporates a vignette style methodology, in which participants read one of two randomly assigned vignettes (i.e., developmentally appropriate discipline or corporal punishment). They were asked a series of questions on the discipline used. A one-way MANOVA was conducted on the quantitative data, in addition to a qualitative analysis. The results of a one-way MANOVA revealed that the three of the dependent variables had statistically significant differences between the two vignettes. A comparative analysis observing the difference between current research findings to the participant's ratings showed that there are some existing gaps between the literature and the participants' perceptions in regard to the severity of the developmental outcomes. However, this study was consistent with the research on declining acceptability of physical punishment. These results can be implemented in targeting educational content and conversations to pinpoint the components of physical punishment that have a lack of understanding and need more awareness.
This study examines college students’ perceptions of the use of physical punishment as a discipline technique. In attempt to analyze perceptions of effectiveness, acceptability, effect on short and long term behavior recurrence, and abusiveness of the behavior, the participants were randomly assigned one of two vignettes and then asked a series of questions. The vignettes either depicted a scenario of a parent using physical punishment or developmentally appropriate discipline. The results found that there were significant differences among the two vignettes between the variables of effectiveness, acceptability, and abusiveness. There was also a large number of participants that recommended using developmentally appropriate techniques instead of physical punishment. These results can be implemented in targeting educational content and conversations to pinpoint the components of physical punishment that have a lack of understanding and need more awareness.
Montroy, Addison E., "University students’ perceptions of parental discipline techniques: Personal acceptability of the use of corporal punishment" (2021). Honors College Theses. 660.