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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2013 Feb;52(2):147-55. doi: 10.1177/0009922812465944. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Parents' professional sources of advice regarding child discipline and their use of corporal punishment.

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Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Parents (n = 500) were surveyed about which professional groups they were most likely to seek and follow advice from regarding child discipline as well as their use of corporal punishment (CP). Nearly half of the parents reported that they were most likely to seek child discipline advice from pediatricians (48%), followed by religious leaders (21%) and mental health professionals (18%). Parents who sought advice from religious leaders (vs pediatricians) had nearly 4 times the odds of reporting use of CP. Parents reported that they were more likely to follow the advice of pediatricians than any other professional; however, black parents were as likely to follow the advice of religious leaders as that of pediatricians. Pediatricians play a central role in advising parents about child discipline. Efforts to engage pediatricians in providing violence prevention counseling should continue. Increased efforts are needed to engage other professionals, especially religious leaders, in providing such advice to parents.

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