AuthorSchwermer, Jurgen Horst
AdvisorPalley, Howard A.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis dissertation examines the relationship between physical punishment and indices of family functioning as derived from the tenets of social exchange theory. There appear to be significant differences in the amount and severity of physical punishment parents mete out to their children. In a sample of 91 residents of a substance abuse treatment center surveyed via a questionnaire, with an average age of 32, 63 percent reported rare or no punishment, 22 percent reported being punished more than once a week or on a daily basis, with 15 percent indicating they were punished approximately once a week. Twenty-seven percent reported never being hit, 14 percent reported only being spanked, 42 percent reported being hit with an object and 17 percent reported being hit in the face and/or beaten by their parents/caretakers while they were between the ages of 6 and 18. Fifty-two percent of the sample indicated that alcohol or drug abuse had been a problem in their family of origin. However, the alcohol or other drug use and abuse by the parents, while the respondents were children, did not prove to have any significant relationship to the patterns of punishment. The parent's geographical and emotional closeness to grandparents and other relatives, their involvement in the community and the family economic status also had little significant predictive power. The manner in which parents valued their children, structured the family to facilitate democratic communication, shared power with their children and spent time with them involved in outside activities, all believed to be indicators of social exchange theory, did show significant relationships to the amount of total punishment as well as the severity of punishments respondents reported having experienced. Utilizing stepwise regression, social exchange theory variables accounted for over 34 percent of the variation in the severity of physical punishment.
DescriptionUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore. Social Work. Ph.D. 1994
KeywordSociology, Individual and Family Studies
Corporal punishment of children
Parent and child