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Corporal punishment (CP) is associated with harmful outcomes to child development. Favorable attitudes toward CP are a major predictor of CP use. Thus, identifying and changing factors influencing such attitudes help to prevent CP. Although research has confirmed the effect of childhood experiences of CP on attitudes toward CP, few studies have examined mechanisms underpinning this association. To fill this gap, this study investigated the role of perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies in mediating the association between childhood experiences of CP and attitudes toward CP among low-income Black, Hispanic, and White parents. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with 230 parents (Mage = 31; Black = 62, Hispanic = 62; White = 106). Structural equation modeling results revealed that more positive childhood experiences of CP were associated with lower perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies. In turn, lower perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies was associated with more favorable attitudes toward CP. Mediation analysis performed by the bootstrapping methods confirmed the mediating effect of perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies. When race was considered, this mediation pathway was held for Hispanic and White parent groups. These results suggested that future research should pay more attention to the role of perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies. Additionally, public education campaigns should consider incorporating efficacy messages to effectively reduce positive attitudes toward CP among low-income parents.
Duong, H. T. (2021). Childhood Experiences and Attitudes toward Corporal Punishment: The Mediating Role of Perceived Efficacy of Alternative Discipline Strategies among Low-income Black, Hispanic, and White Parents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211035879
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