Assignment: Discussion in Reflective paper

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Assignment: Discussion in Reflective paper

Assignment: Discussion in Reflective paper


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Assignment: Discussion in Reflective paper

Reflection papers must be typed, double-spaced throughout, 1-inch margin on all sides, 12 font size, and Times New Roman font type. 

References in APA format (2-3 references would be enough)

Three-page minimum (excluding title page and reference page)

Please read this article and answer these questions:

(1) What was the purpose of this article?

(2) What did the author say about the relationship between physical discipline (e.g., spanking) and behavioral problems?

(3) What did the author criticize about previous studies done on spanking and behavioral problems?

(4) What did the author suggest as an alternative explanation for interpreting the data on spanking and behavioral problems?

(5) Is there a difference between socioeconomic status and spanking between European Americans and African Americans? What are the implications?

(6) Do you agree with the author’s assertions? Be specific about what you agree and/or disagree with.

Sociocultural Differences in the Developmental Consequences of the Use of Physical Discipline During Childhood for African Americans

ARTHUR L. WHALEY New York State Psychiatric Institute

Given the diverse cultures that can shape parenting behavior, some basic assumptions regarding the links between parenting styles and developmental outcomes may not be

universal. Although a positive correlation between the use of physical discipline (i.e.,

spanking) and disruptive disorders in children is found in studies of European Ameri- can families, research on African American families has found a negative association

or none at all. Moreover, a review of the literature indicates that the positive associa- tion between spanking and child behavior problems is bidirectional for White families, whereas it is the product of reverse causation (i.e., negative child behaviors result in

spanking) in Black families. The implications of these sociocultural differences for par- ent training programs and the family study of disruptive behaviors are discussed.

‘ African American * discipline * disruptive disorders * parenting * family studies

Contemporary theories and research sug- broader community instead of vice versa gest that the broader sociocultural context (Kelley, Sanchez-Hucles, & Walker, 1993; may play a more important role than par- Mason, Cauce, Gonzales, & Hiraga, 1996). enting behaviors or family characteristics in Given the diverse cultures that can shape developmental outcomes (e.g., Brooks- parenting behavior, some basic assumptions Gunn, Duncan, Klebanov, & Sealand, 1993; regarding the links between parenting styles Gorman-Smith & Tolan, 1998; Harris, 1995; and child development may not be univer- Ogbu, 1981). Moreover, several studies pro- sal. Consequently, the cross-cultural validity vide empirical support for the notion that of research based on these assumptions is parenting practices are shaped by the called into question.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Arthur L. Whaley, Department of Social Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 8, New

York, New York 10032. Electronic mail may be sent to

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology Copyright 2000 by the Educational Publishing Foundation Vol. 6, No. 1, 5-12 1099-9809/00/$5.00 DOI: 10.1037//1099-9809.6.1.5

W H A I, E Y

One such assumption is the belief that the use of physical discipline (i.e., spanking) leads to the development of conduct disor- ders or disruptive behaviors in children. The purpose of this article is to review the evi- dence suggesting sociocultural differences in developmental outcomes from the use of spanking by African American parents in contrast to their European American coun- terparts. (Use of the term physical discipline in this article always refers to spanking.) In addition, the implications of these sociocul- tural differences for parent training pro- grams and the family study of disruptive be- haviors are discussed. Specifically, the consequences of ethnocentric biases in gen- eralizing from White samples to African Americans are explicated, and suggestions are offered as to how to make such research and training culturally sensitive.

Physical Punishment and Disruptive behavior

The positive association between aversive parenting and disruptive disorders in chil- dren is a well-established empirical finding. Cohen and Brook (1987) reported a positive relationship between “power assertive pun- ishment” and behavior problems in a sample of 725 children in an 8-year longitu- dinal study of two upstate New York coun- ties. Similarly, Vuchinich, Bank, and Patter- son (1992) found a positive association between aversive parenting and antisocial behavior in a 2-year longitudinal study of 206 preadolescent boys. Both of these longi- tudinal investigations also revealed a recip- rocal relationship between negative parent- ing and behavioral disorders, suggesting a mutually reinforcing cycle of negative inter- actions between parent and child. A cross- sectional study of 1,285 youths and their par- ents by Goodman et al. (1998) also found a positive correlation between physical pun- ishment and disruptive disorders.

The above studies on parenting style and child behavior problems have several limita-

tions. First, they tend to include several dif- ferent parenting behaviors in their measure of aversive parenting. Thus it is unclear whether spanking per se is responsible for the negative behavioral outcomes in chil- dren. Second, this style of parenting has been referred to as power assertive punishment (Cohen & Brook, 1987) and authoritarian (Baumrind, 1972), suggesting that parents who use spanking as a disciplinary tech- nique have little or no regard for the child: Their main concern is obedience to author- ity. Finally, this research and the conclusions drawn from it come from studies of com- pletely or predominantly European Ameri- can samples. Thus it can be argued that an ethnocentric bias is operating in the design, conduct, and interpretation of research on the association between parenting and dis- ruptive disorders in children.

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