PHYSICALLY VIOLENT DISCIPLINE PRACTICES OF AN OUTPATIENT POPULATION OF MOTHERS WITH LATENCY AGE CHILDREN (PARENTING, CHILD ABUSE)
OHRENSTEIN, MARILYN BACHER
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Latency age developmental issues served as the cornerstone of this investigation of the relationship between child-rearing attitudes, practices and parental personality characteristics on the one hand and physically violent discipline practices on the other.;A purposive non-probability sample of one hundred mothers of a non-abusive, clinic population with latency age children was obtained. The respondents employed varying degrees of physical punishment with their children and were of varied racial, religious and class backgrounds.;The mothers were interviewed by means of a structured questionnaire. Precautions were taken to insure confidentiality and anonymity. The research questions dealt with four main areas: (1) demographics; (2) the mother's child-rearing attitudes and practices (permissive and restrictive), expectations for maturity of her latency age children, and the parental role she assumed (authoritarian versus liberalism); (3) her self-esteem, social support systems and recent stress experiences; (4) the range and frequency of discipline practices used.;The mothers were divided into three groups (mild, moderate and severe) according to the frequency of their employment of physically violent discipline practices. The performance of these groups on the other variables were then compared. Frequency distributions were obtained and measures of statistical significance, break-downs and cross-tabulation statistics were used for comparisons. Those variables found to discriminate among the groups were then used in a regression analysis. Race and religion were used as control variables to ascertain the impact of social factors on physically violent discipline practices.;Results indicated that (1) in general, a wide range of harsh practices was being employed, varying in type and frequency; (2) some mothers who were currently using physically harsh practices with their latency age children were doing so for the first time; (3) the parental child-rearing attitudes and practices and their conception of their parental roles were found to be highly associated with harsh parenting practices; (4) other factors related to this were the size of the family, the mother's educational and occupational level, and the family's welfare status.;In this study parental personality characteristics were not found to be associated with physically violent discipline practices.
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