ERIC Number: ED407175
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Parental Beliefs and Use of Parental Discipline: The Role of Religious Affiliation.
Thompson, Elizabeth E.; Miller, Pamela O'Dell
This study examined: (1) whether parents of different religious affiliations varied in their reported use of a range of discipline techniques; and (2) religious differences in parents' attitudes about the corporal punishment they received as children, and the corporal punishment they administer to their own children. Data were collected from 79 mothers and 39 fathers of 118 3-year-old children. Eighty percent of the participants were European-Americans, 2 percent African-American, 15 percent Hispanic-American, with 3 percent not reporting ethnic affiliation. The majority of parents had at least a college degree; 88 percent had an annual family income of $30,000 and above. The parents completed three questionnaires: Demographics, including religious affiliation; Parental Responses to Child Misbehavior; and Parental Attitudes Toward Spanking (PATS). Four groups were formed on the basis of religious affiliation: (1) liberal Protestants; (2) conservative Protestants; (3) Roman Catholics; and (4) no preference. Results indicated that religious affiliation was associated with the types of discipline parents reported using in an average week; conservative Protestants reported spanking significantly more often than parents in the other three groups. A factor analysis of items from the PATS revealed four factors: perceptions of Appropriateness and Severity of spanking received from their parents, and the Instrumentality and Emotionality associated with spanking their own children. Conservative Protestants rated their own childhood spankings as appropriate more often than did parents in two or more of the other groups, and they endorsed more strongly the belief that spanking is instrumentally effective with their own children. (Contains 8 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (62nd, Washington, DC, April 3-6, 1997).