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Child corporal punishment (CP) is associated with child physical abuse, which is a public health problem in the United States. Informed by the integrative model of behavioral prediction, this study surveyed low-income Black, Hispanic, and White parents who had children younger than 6 years old (N = 260) to identify major risk factors that determined intention to use CP to discipline children. Structural equation modeling revealed that attitudes, descriptive norms, and perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies were associated with intention to use CP. Additionally, parents’ childhood CP frequency and past use of CP with their own children were influential distal variables that indirectly predicted CP intention. Results indicated the utility of the model in this behavioral context. Communication intervention programs targeting low-income parents should leverage perceived norms, perceived efficacy of alternative discipline strategies, and attitudes to change CP behavior.


Author accepted manuscript of an article published by Sage in Health Education and Behavior


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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