Physical discipline among African American and European American mothers: Links to children's externalizing behaviors


Journal Article

The aim of this study was to test whether the relation between physical discipline and child aggression was moderated by ethnic-group status. A sample of 466 European American and 100 African American children from a broad range of socioeconomic levels were followed from kindergarten through 3rd grade. Mothers reported their use of physical discipline in interviews and questionnaires, and mothers, teachers, and peers rated children's externalizing problems annually. The interaction between ethnic status and discipline was significant for teacher- and peer-rated externalizing scores; physical discipline was associated with higher externalizing scores, but only among European American children. These findings provide evidence that the link between physical punishment and child aggression may be culturally specific. Copyright 1996 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Deater-Deckard, K; Bates, JE; Dodge, KA; Pettit, GS

Published Date

  • January 1, 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1065 - 1072

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.32.6.1065

Citation Source

  • Scopus