Volume 76, Issue 6 p. 1234-1246

Physical Discipline and Children's Adjustment: Cultural Normativeness as a Moderator

Jennifer E. Lansford

Jennifer E. Lansford

Duke University

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Lei Chang

Lei Chang

Chinese University of Hong Kong

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Kenneth A. Dodge

Kenneth A. Dodge

Duke University

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Patrick S. Malone

Patrick S. Malone

Duke University

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Paul Oburu

Paul Oburu

Göteborg University

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Kerstin Palmérus

Kerstin Palmérus

Göteborg University

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Dario Bacchini

Dario Bacchini

University of Naples

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Concetta Pastorelli

Concetta Pastorelli

Rome University “La Sapienza”

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Anna Silvia Bombi

Anna Silvia Bombi

Rome University “La Sapienza”

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Arnaldo Zelli

Arnaldo Zelli

Istituto Universitario di Scienze Motorie

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Sombat Tapanya

Sombat Tapanya

Chiang Mai University

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Nandita Chaudhary

Nandita Chaudhary

University of Delhi

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Kirby Deater-Deckard

Kirby Deater-Deckard

University of Oregon

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Beth Manke

Beth Manke

California State University

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Naomi Quinn

Naomi Quinn

Duke University

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First published: 21 March 2005
Citations: 382
concerning this article should be addressed to Jennifer E. Lansford, Center for Child and Family Policy, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708-0545. Electronic mail may be sent to [email protected].

This work was funded by the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation and the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy. We are grateful to the children and parents who participated in this research and to Lina Ramos for her contributions to data collection.

Abstract

Interviews were conducted with 336 mother–child dyads (children's ages ranged from 6 to 17 years; mothers' ages ranged from 20 to 59 years) in China, India, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand to examine whether normativeness of physical discipline moderates the link between mothers' use of physical discipline and children's adjustment. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that physical discipline was less strongly associated with adverse child outcomes in conditions of greater perceived normativeness, but physical discipline was also associated with more adverse outcomes regardless of its perceived normativeness. Countries with the lowest use of physical discipline showed the strongest association between mothers' use and children's behavior problems, but in all countries higher use of physical discipline was associated with more aggression and anxiety.