تفاوتهای جنسی در روابط متقابل بین تنبیه بدنی خفیف و شدید و درونیسازی رفتار مشکل کودکان در یک نمونه چینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|31037||2013||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Volume 34, Issue 1, January–February 2013, Pages 9–16
The study aimed to investigate the sex differences in the reciprocal relations between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior in China. Four hundred fifty-four Chinese elementary school-age children completed measures of their parental corporal punishment toward them and their own internalizing problem behavior at two time points, 6 months apart. Structural equation modeling revealed that both parental mild and severe corporal punishment significantly predicted child internalizing problem behavior for girls, but only parental severe corporal punishment marginally predicted child internalizing problem behavior for boys; child internalizing problem behavior predicted both mild and severe corporal punishment for boys but not for girls. The findings highlight the important role of severity of corporal punishment and child sex in understanding the relations between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior and have implications for the intervention efforts aimed at reducing child internalizing symptoms or parental corporal punishment in China.
Corporal punishment (i.e., spanking the bottom with the bare hand or hitting with a hard object) is a commonly used strategy of disciplining children by parents (Straus and Stewart, 1999 and Tang, 2006). A large body of research indicates that corporal punishment is associated with subsequent negative child outcomes. Yet most of the research has concentrated on child externalizing issues, suggesting that corporal punishment leads to aggressive and delinquent behavior (Aucoin et al., 2006, Fine et al., 2004, Harper et al., 2006 and Lansford et al., 2005), whereas the association of corporal punishment with child internalizing problem behavior or emotional difficulties remains less apparent in the literature. Although less researched, several studies have linked parental corporal punishment to depression (Mulvaney and Mebert, 2010, Rodriguez, 2003, Rodriguez, 2006 and Turner and Muller, 2004) and poor mental health (Gershoff, 2002, for a review and meta-analysis; Miller-Perrina, Perrina, & Kocurb, 2009). For instance, findings from Mulvaney and Mebert (2010), based on adolescent samples, indicated that maternal corporal punishment during childhood was associated with later increased depression. Likewise, Rubin and Mills (1990) presented 121 mothers of 4-year olds with descriptions of hypothetical incidents of peer-directed social withdrawal and asked what they would do about these behaviors. Results indicated that mothers of withdrawn-internalizing children would react to such maladaptive behavior more often in coercive, high power assertive ways than mothers of normal children. Taken together, these studies reviewed above provided the evidence for unidirectional influence between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior. It is important to note, however, several theoretical models on parent–child interaction posit that children and their parents mutually influence one another across time (Bell, 1980, Patterson, 1982 and Sameroff, 1975), and the bidirectional nature of parent–child relationships has received empirical support from a growing body of research, particularly in regard to parental harsh discipline (i.e., corporal punishment) and child externalizing problem behavior (Lansford et al., 2011, Pardini et al., 2008, Sheehan and Watson, 2008 and Verhoeven et al., 2010). For example, Lansford et al. (2011) used data from the longitudinal Child Development Project and found that parental physical discipline could lead children to become more aggressive, and aggressive children could also elicit more physical discipline from their parents. Unfortunately, little research has examined mutual influences between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior. Therefore, the primary aim of the current study is to extend the notion of reciprocity in parent–child relationships to parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior. The second aim was to identify whether the relations between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior are similar among boys and girls. It has been suggested that girls tend to be more oriented towards relationships and gaining social approval compared with boys (e.g., Gabriel and Gardner, 1999 and Maccoby, 1990), and therefore they may be especially vulnerable to the effects of family conflict or harsh parenting and experience greater psychological distress in the context of parent–child conflict (Chung et al., 2009, Crawford et al., 2001, DeVet, 1997, Flook, 2011 and Hipwell et al., 2008). Indeed, there is evidence that girls who experienced family violence are at greater risk of manifesting internalizing behavior problems than boys (Sternberg, Lamb, Guterman, & Abbott, 2006). In addition, it has been found that there are gender differences in attitudes toward corporal punishment, with boys being more accepting of this discipline than girls (Deater-Deckard, Lansford, Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 2003). Given that Grusec and Goodnow (1994) argued that the extent to which children accept their parents' disciplinary messages contributes to the impact of this discipline, we expected that the effects of parental corporal punishment on children's internalizing problem behavior would be stronger for girls than for boys. It is also noteworthy that, despite the evidence suggestive of the effects of children's internalizing behavior on parents' harsh discipline (Rubin & Mills, 1990), research looking at the sex differences in such effects is scarce. Given that there are obvious differences in parental expectations for boys and girls in Chinese societies, it is possible that Chinese parents may interpret and react to the internalizing behavior in boys and girls in a qualitatively different way. In most Chinese families, boys are generally expected and socialized to be independent and assertive to enable them to carry the family name and care for their aged parents (Tang, 1998 and Wu, 1996). Thus, internalizing problem behavior, which indicates anxiety and a lack of self-confidence, is considered inconsistent with the socialization goal for Chinese boys. As Chinese parents often believe that the infliction of physical pain is necessary to train children's strength and tough personality (Tang, 2006), they may respond physically to boys' internalizing problem behavior to achieve their high expectation and socialization goal for boys. Unlike boys, however, it has been argued that Chinese girls are often socialized to be submissive, obedient, and dependent (Tang, 1998). Mild expressions of anxiety and dependency by girls are generally accepted as normative and encouraged in Chinese culture (Ho, 1986). Therefore, it is possible that Chinese parents would be less likely to respond physically to internalizing problem behavior in girls than in boys. Another concern in the present study involves the conceptual limitation of previous research. Most earlier research related to parental corporal punishment has examined corporal punishment as a general construct, without making a clear distinction between two different types of corporal punishment: mild corporal punishment and severe corporal punishment (Straus, Hamby, Finkelhor, Moore, & Runyan, 1998). Conflating mild corporal punishment with severe forms of corporal punishment makes it impossible to assess differences in the reciprocal relations between these two types of corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior. Nevertheless, a growing body of research on child externalizing problems has provided the empirical evidence that the relations between corporal punishment and children's externalizing problem behavior vary by the severity of parental corporal punishment (e.g., Lynch et al., 2006 and Xing et al., 2011). Therefore, examining potential differences in the relationships between mild or severe forms of parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior will both provide valuable information for future research and have implications for practice. In summary, the current study examined sex differences in the reciprocal relations between two types of parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior using a longitudinal sample of Chinese elementary school-age children. We anticipated reciprocal relations between parental corporal punishment and child internalizing problem behavior, with such relations varying by severity of parental corporal punishment and child sex.