Mexican-American Mothers' Discipline Beliefs and Practices as Predictors of Toddlers' Externalizing Behaviors
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractObjective.The goal of this study was to determine how the interaction of maternal parenting discipline beliefs and physical punishment behaviors was associated with externalizing behaviors in toddlers. Methods. Data was collected through in-person interviews with 80 Mexican-American mothers with toddlers, reporting about their beliefs about discipline, their use of physical discipline, and their toddlers’ externalizing behaviors. Hierarchal linear regression models were used to examine the relationship between the interaction of beliefs and behaviors and externalizing behaviors, while controlling for maternal depression. Results. The interaction of beliefs and behaviors were significantly correlated with externalizing behaviors. There was a positive correlation between spanking frequency and externalizing behaviors when mothers that reported high levels of discipline beliefs, and a negative correlation between spanking frequency and externalizing behaviors in mothers that reported low levels of discipline beliefs. Conclusion. Beliefs and behaviors must be considered together when examining how they predict externalizing behaviors. It cannot be concluded that spanking alone causes externalizing outcomes in children without examining the context of the punishment.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Family Studies and Human Development