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Although predictors of harsh parental discipline are well known, relatively little is understood about why mothers use harsh discipline even when they believe they should not do so, hereafter referred to as discrepant harsh discipline. We investigated affective, behavioral, and situational predictors of discrepant harsh discipline, in two independent studies. Participants in Study 1 were 60 mothers of 1–3 year-old children recruited from the community. Participants in Study 2 were 61 mothers of 2–4 year-old children recruited from the community. In both studies, we found significant associations between the interaction of maternal reported anger and impulsivity and discrepant harsh discipline. Study 2 found significant main effects of maternal reported anger and the interaction between impulsivity and multitasking demands in predicting discrepant harsh discipline. The results of these 2 studies indicate that higher levels maternal impulsivity, in combination with higher levels of maternal anger or in the context of situations that require multitasking by mothers, may serve as barriers to mothers’ use of non-harsh discipline techniques. It may be beneficial for parenting interventions to address these potential barriers in addition to teaching appropriate and effective discipline techniques.
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- Barriers to Mothers’ Implementation of Non-Harsh Discipline Techniques: Anger, Impulsivity, and Situational Demands
Kimberly A. Rhoades
Tamara Del Vecchio
- Springer US