Discipline responses: influences of parents' socioeconomic status, ethnicity, beliefs about parenting, stress, and cognitive-emotional processes.


Journal Article

Direct and indirect precursors to parents' harsh discipline responses to hypothetical vignettes about child misbehavior were studied with data from 978 parents (59% mothers; 82% European American and 16% African American) of 585 kindergarten-aged children. SEM analyses showed that parents' beliefs about spanking and child aggression and family stress mediated a negative relation between socioeconomic status and discipline. In turn, perception of the child and cognitive-emotional processes (hostile attributions, emotional upset, worry about child's future, available alternative disciplinary strategies, and available preventive strategies) mediated the effect of stress on discipline. Similar relations between ethnicity and discipline were found (African Americans reported harsher discipline), especially among low-income parents. Societally based experiences may lead some parents to rely on accessible and coherent goals in their discipline, whereas others are more reactive.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pinderhughes, EE; Dodge, KA; Bates, JE; Pettit, GS; Zelli, A

Published Date

  • September 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 380 - 400

PubMed ID

  • 11025931

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11025931

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1293

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0893-3200

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037//0893-3200.14.3.380


  • eng