ERIC Number: ED296188
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Age, Gender, and Class Differences in Physical Punishment and Physical Abuse of American Children.
Wauchope, Barbara A.; Straus, Murray A.
This study examined the relationship of the age and gender of the child, and the occupational status and gender of the parent, to the incidence and frequency of physical punishment and two levels of physical abuse of children, as measured by the minor, severe, and very severe violence indexes of the Conflict Tactics Scales. The subjects were children from a nationally representative sample of 3,229 families. Physical punishment was found to peak at ages 3 and 4, being used by 90% of the parents, and to decrease steadily after age 4. More than one-half of all parents were reported to still use physical punishment with their children who were 13 years of age. No age trend was found for very severe violence. Parents who used any level of violence tended to do so repeatedly. Boys were the victims more often than were girls, and more blue-collar parents than white-collar parents engaged in both minor and severe violence. These effects were found to be stronger for severe violence. Mothers used minor violence more often than did fathers. Only one significant interaction effect was found: for very severe violence, of the abused children in this sample, repetition of the abuse tended to be greatest when the victim was a girl and the perpetrator was a white-collar father. Several explanations, particularly social norms, are used to interpret findings. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: New Hampshire Univ., Durham. Family Research Lab.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Family Violence Research (3rd, Durham, NH, July 6-9, 1987).