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J Pediatr Health Care. 2017 May - Jun;31(3):372-383. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2017.01.002. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

American Parents' Attitudes and Beliefs About Corporal Punishment: An Integrative Literature Review.


Research on American parents' beliefs about the use of corporal punishment (CP) shows widespread approval of this child-rearing practice. This review integrated 25 research articles to gain a better understanding of what American parents believe about the use of CP as a method of child-rearing, where they get their information about CP, and if American parents' beliefs about CP translate to the actual use of CP. The results showed that the main factors that influence a parent's endorsement of CP is the belief that CP is normative and expected when raising a child; is a necessary part of parenting, even for infants; and that certain stressors involving interactions between the parent, child, and environment can elicit the use of CP. Further research is needed to determine what methods are effective in changing parents' attitudes and beliefs about the use of CP.


Spanking; corporal punishment; discipline; parental attitudes; physical punishment of children; psychosocial risk factors

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