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The relationship between parental use of corporal punishment and childhoood self-esteem Abele, Megan R.

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between parental use of corporal punishment and childhood self-esteem. 7, 504 children between the ages of 4 and 9 years were chosen as subjects from Cycle 2 of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). Results found a small but significant negative relationship between the variables. Parental use of corporal punishment is associated with a lower level of self-esteem for children. Religiosity, SES, gender and parental warmth and support are all used as control variables. The significant relationship between parental use of corporal punishment and childhood self-esteem holds while controlling for all four variables. Both gender and parental warmth and support are tested as moderators between the independent and dependent variables, however, their relationship is weak. Evidence from this study contradicts one of the main arguments put forth by defenders of corporal punishment that high parental warmth and support buffers children against the negative effects of corporal punishment. The research also contributes to the current gap that exists in the literature on the association between corporal punishment and internalizing childhood outcomes.

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