Parental Physical Discipline Linked to Behavior Problems in Teens
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2009 Sep 15
Two new studies explore how discipline changes during childhood and adolescence, and what family factors affect those changes. They conclude that when parents use physical discipline through childhood, their children experience more behavior problems in adolescence.
They find that parents typically adjust the way they discipline their children in response to their children's growing cognitive abilities, using less physical discipline (spanking, slapping, hitting with an object) over time. As children grow older, physical discipline becomes less developmentally appropriate. However, when parents' use of physical discipline continues through childhood, by the time their children are teens, they're more likely to have behavior problems. Teens of parents who stop using physical discipline when their children are young are less likely to have these behavior problems.
The studies were conducted by researchers at Duke University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Auburn University, and Indiana University. They appear in the September/October 2009 issue of Child Development.