Physical discipline and children's adjustment: Cultural normativeness as a moderator

Jennifer E. Lansford, Kenneth A. Dodge, Patrick S. Malone, Dario Bacchini, Arnaldo Zelli, Nandita Chaudhary, Beth Manke, Lei Chang, Paul Oburu, Kerstin Palmérus, Concetta Pastorelli, Anna Silvia Bombi, Sombat Tapanya, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Naomi Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interviews were conducted with 336 mother-child dyads (children's ages ranged from 6 to 17 years; mothers' ages ranged from 20 to 59 years) in China, India, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand to examine whether normativeness of physical discipline moderates the link between mothers' use of physical discipline and children's adjustment. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that physical discipline was less strongly associated with adverse child outcomes in conditions of greater perceived normativeness, but physical discipline was also associated with more adverse outcomes regardless of its perceived normativeness. Countries with the lowest use of physical discipline showed the strongest association between mothers' use and children's behavior problems, but in all countries higher use of physical discipline was associated with more aggression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1234-1246
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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