MD, Shari Barkin, MD, Edward Ip, PhD and Stacia Finch, MA. 1
Burlington Pediatrics, Burlington, MA; 2 Pediatrics, WFUSM, W-S, NC; 3
Public Health Sciences, WFUSM, W-S, NC and 4 PROS, CCHR, AAP,
Elk Grove Village, IL.
Background: Although studies on parental disciplinary techniques have examined
the impact of recent and current parent, child, and family factors,
little is known about how parent's experiences of discipline in
childhood affect their disciplinary practices.
Objective: To examine the association between parent's experiences of
discipline when they were a child and current discipline strategies.
Design/Methods: Parents with children ages 2-11 seen
for their well child exam in PROS practices from 27 states, Canada,
and Puerto Rico (N=1,544) completed pre-visit surveys that included
questions on current discipline approaches used, parent's childhood
discipline experiences, and demographic factors. We conducted multiple
multivariate analyses; each with a dependent variable of most often
used current discipline technique. The independent variables included
child's age and gender, maternal education level, number of children
and adults in the home, relationship with the child, marital status,
and discipline parents experienced as a child.
Results: Parents reported the type of discipline used most when they
were children: removal of privileges (32.5%); yelling (22.6%); sent
to the bedroom (19.6%); spanking (18.8%); time-outs (4.3%); and
other (2.2%). Parents? discipline approaches currently used most
often included: time-outs (42%), removal of privileges (41%), sent
to bedroom (27%), yelling (13%) and spanking (9%). Parents reported
using time-outs and spanking more often in younger children (ages
2-5) and taking away privileges, yelling, and restriction to their
bedroom for older children (ages 6-11). In multivariate analyses,
parents who experienced a particular discipline strategy in childhood
were more likely to use the same technique currently for: time-outs
(OR:3.16, p<0.00001); sent to the bedroom (OR: 1.86, p<0.0001);
yelling (OR:1.81, p<0.005); and take away privileges (OR: 1.41,
p<0.01). The only form of parental discipline experienced in
childhood that was not significantly associated with current choice
of discipline was spanking.
Conclusions: Most of parents current disciplinary practices are influenced
by their past experiences as children. Pediatric practitioners should
consider discussing parents? childhood discipline experiences when
discussing discipline with families.