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17-06-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2018

Values and Beliefs as Risk and Protective Factors for Physical Punishment

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2018
Joyce Lin


Physical punishment is widely used in the U.S., despite links to several negative child outcomes. Considering the increasing cultural diversity and that researchers who link cultural values to physical punishment focus within instead of across groups, it is worthwhile to explore whether certain values that have been linked to physical punishment within groups are applicable to other group that may share similar beliefs. Further, while researchers typically focus on exploring risk factors for physical punishment, the current study explores both risk (e.g., filial piety, machismo attitudes) and protective (e.g., familism) factors. Using a survey of 736 racially/ethnically diverse undergraduate students, this study addresses how students varied in their experiences of physical punishment growing up, based on their ratings of their caregivers’ values. Regression results indicate that having a caregiver with stronger machismo attitudes was linked to higher odds of experiencing any, AOR= 1.48, p< .001, 95% CI [1.23, 1.78], as well as moderate to severe, AOR= 1.57, p< .001, 95% CI [1.28, 1.91] physical punishment; this was true across the full sample, despite machismo attitudes being studied in Hispanic/Latino populations typically. However, familism and filial piety were not associated with physical punishment for the sample. These findings suggest that it is worthwhile to explore how traditional values that are typically attributed to certain groups may be linked to physical punishment across more diverse populations, as different groups may share similar beliefs that are linked to physical punishment in similar ways.

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