Research Paper: Discipline for Children Understanding Effective

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[. . .] In accordance with the child's age, reponses of parental discipline vary. Studies show us that younger children experience more physical punishments in comparison which older age children (Dietz, 2000; Ghate et al., 2003). Nevertheless, it is also noted that, older age children face, in comparison to younger children, more strict physical punishments than younger children (Nobes and Smith, 2002; Straus and Stewart, 1999). Utilization of physical punishment is common among pre-school age children and toddlers, in North America and UK (Clement et al., 2000; Ghate et al., 2003). According to Durrant (2005), reason behind this high level of disciplinary problems in these ages is because of the combination of age-based influences resulted in demonstration of independence and exploration, along with the element of negativism, impulsive as well as little or no understanding of danger and harm.

Misdemeanours of certain children may result in high level and strict physical punishments as disciplinary response. These responses are highly dependent on the culture, that is, values and norms of a culture. Different studies conducted in USA and UK indicates that, aggression and self-endangerment are most common behaviours that results in physical punishments and are sometimes considered acceptable as a disciplinary response (Durrant, 1996; Ghate et al., 2003; Holden et al., 1999). Behaviour that mostly likely results in physical punishment as reported by Smith et al. (2005) are once which are against moral codes, challenges control and authority of parents, or actions that possesses danger other or the child. Thus, it is more likely that, children losing their temper easily are subject to physical punishment. Furthermore, circumstances in which disciplining incident have occurred and at time of misbehaviour, natures of exchange are two most important things to predict physical punishment as means of disciplinary response. As an example, Socolar et al. (1999), when primary response fails and parental anger is at severe levels, usually as secondary response, slapping is used as a disciplinary action.

Interpretation of the children's behaviour by their parents makes the behaviour of children acceptable or intolerable (Bugental and Happaney, 2002). Response of parents regarding disciplinary incidents depends upon the attributes and perceptions that parents makes about their children characteristics, that is, if a parent tends to have a hostile attributes and perceptions regarding their children, this may result in punitive way of parenting (MacKinnon-Lewis et al., 1992). For instance, children considered to be aggressive and responsible for what they do, are likely to be considered worthy of corporeal punishment. Moreover, children in elementary schools and pre-schools showing aggressive behaviour results in negative parent cognitions and emotions, which ultimately results in more negative or strict parenting methods (Miller, 1995). Unexpected and ambiguous events may also set to motion parental attributional process. According to Bugental and Happaney (2002), adults having attributional style with low-power (i.e. they believe that, they have less power when it comes to care-giving relationships in comparison to their children) exhibits defensive patterns when it comes to responding children's undesirable behaviour. According to this viewpoint, the reposes regarding parental attributional processes are set to motion when a relevant event happens in a care-giving environment. This process also serves as to mediate or moderate parental disciplinary responses.

Parental styles may also depend upon the patterns of parental attributions. Situation where a child depicts negative behaviour, an authoritarian mother will be less focused on emotions and understanding the behaviour and aggression due to external source, in comparison authoritative mother (Coplan et al., 2002). In almost all scenarios related to child-rearing, an authoritarian mother will mostly respond with embarrassment and anger. In accordance with the above findings, it is suggested that authoritative and authoritarian mothers have different emotional response patterns. That is, they are different in almost every aspects of child-rearing process. However, in many challenging situations regarding child-rearing, put empathises on different cognitive reactions regarding authoritarian vs. authoritative mothers.

To summarize, use of corporal punishment depends upon many different factor regarding characteristics of a child. One of the most important developments in child is when he exclusively relies on his parent. At this stage of life, child's behaviour and characteristics are influenced by parental disciplinary responses. There are inconsistency in results, when considering factors like age and gender, to explain variations in different disciplinary responses linking it to physical punishments. There are few studies suggesting that, in comparison with girls, boys are more often victims of physical punishments. However, there are few studies showing no such effect of gender on disciplinary responses. Likewise, there are many studies reporting high occurrence of corporal punishment in young children that is, in early childhood stage. However, there are few studies which suggest that older children are more strictly and severely punished. It is significant to mention that, interpretation of parents regarding behaviours and action of their children plays an important role initiating different disciplinary responses. Punitive parenting may result due to parent's hostile attribution that parent associate with his child (Halpenny, et al., 2010).

Influence of Parent attributes

There are many characteristic, associated with parental styles, which may approve or disapprove use of physical punishment. Finding form many studies are doubtful, regarding gender of parents effecting disciplinary response. Few researchers suggest that there are no gender variations (Hemenway et al., 1994; Murphy-Cowan and Stringer, 1999; Nobes et al., 1999); on the other hand few studies prpose that, in comparison to father, mother uses more corporal punishments (Giles-Sims et al., 1995; Dietz, 2000; Durrant et al., 1999). It has also been indicated that, parents of young age are more likely to utilize corporal punishments (Giles-Sims et al., 1995; Dietz, 2000; Durrant et al., 1999). Culture variations that is, beliefs of parents may also influence the kind of disciplinary response (Pinderhughes et al., 2000). Generally speaking, parents possessing low level of education use physical punishments as a disciplinary response (Durrant et al., 1999). On the other hand, there are few exceptions, that shows high educated parents using physical punishments are disciplinary responses (Wolfner and Gelles, 1993). There are few studies that show no effects of education on disciplinary responses (Dietz, 2000). Parents that are of belief that, positive parenting will affect their child in days to come, are less likely to use coercive punishments.

Parents suffering from depressing (Bluestone and Tamis-LeMonda, 1999), or have problems related to alcohol/drug (Woodward and Fergusson, 2002), or have hostile/anti-social personality (Fisher and Fagot, 1993) are expected to use corporal punishments for their children. The level of frustration, anger, or irritation in a parent towards the conflicts that he faces when dealing with is child, many also affect use of coercive strategies, which includes corporal punishments (Ateah and Durrant, 2005; Holden et al., 1995). Frustration and anger of a parent increase the possibility of using more aggressive level of punishment than they expect (Vasta, 1982).

It is also seen that, parent that where subject to physical punishment in their childhood are more prone toward physical punishments towered their children (Bower-Russa et al., 2001; Ghate et al., 2003; Graziano and Namaste, 1990). This intergenerational transmission is also considered to be a major factor that influences a parent's disciplinary response toward their children. A timely relationship was found among the experiences of children been slapped and usage of slapping as a strategy of discipline according to the longitudinal research on behavior development involved with corporal punishment (Deater-Deckard et al., 2003). Although, no relationship was found among juveniles who were suspected of experiencing physical mistreatment in the early or middle stage of their childhood. According to the twin study done by Kendler's (1996) on numerous generations suggested that behavior of parents was influenced genetically by characteristics of their temperament additionally.

Amusingly, Korea and Northern Ireland are the areas where these studies were done and exceptions were derived. Across generations, the physical punishment was extended due to the influence of socio-economic background as per the study of Northern Ireland. Murphy-Cowan and Stringer (1999) contributed that corporal punishment in working class families is determined through the frequency it was used across generations' kids, although middle-class families, where corporal punishment was faced more often by the parents, did not observe this. Similar to this, when conflicts are faced by the mothers, who experienced corporal punishment in their childhood, with their kids did not respond it heavily among the immigrant from Korea in U.S..

Approval of corporal punishment also depends upon the personal experience of parents in their childhood and this is one of the strongest predictors for the usage of corporal punishment (Durrant, 2005). According to a study which examined the probable indicators of mothers practising corporal punishment, like goals of discipline, child development knowledge, maternal anger, personal experience of physical punishment in childhood, knowledge about different conflicts among children and parents, corporal punishment's approval and child's desired behavior and expected seriousness, though the strongest among these predictors was approval of parents (Ateah and Durrant, 2005). Acceptability of children's physical punishment among older parents, men and parents who were not educated was higher in 14 states of European Union, according to a research… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Discipline for Children Understanding Effective.  (2011, December 5).  Retrieved March 21, 2019, from

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"Discipline for Children Understanding Effective."  December 5, 2011.  Accessed March 21, 2019.