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Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1263–1274 | Cite as

Intergenerational Transmission of Corporal Punishment in China: the Moderating Role of Marital Satisfaction and Gender

  • Meifang Wang
  • Xiaopei Xing
  • Jinxia Zhao
Article

Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine the intergenerational patterns in the transmission of parental corporal punishment in China and the moderating effects of marital satisfaction (of the second generation: G2) and gender (of three generations: G1, G2 and G3) on these patterns. Six hundred thirty-five father-mother dyads with preschool-aged children were recruited to participate in this survey. The results provided evidence of cross-generational continuity in parental corporal punishment in Chinese society and also supported the hypothesis that same-gender continuity in parental corporal punishment is stronger than cross-gender continuity. Moreover, it was found that marital satisfaction moderated the transmission of parental corporal punishment, and there were some interesting gender differences in the moderator effect. Specifically, marital satisfaction buffered the transmission of corporal punishment from grandmothers to mothers of daughters and to fathers of sons but strengthened the transmission from grandfathers to fathers of sons. The findings broaden our understanding of the factors and processes that account for both discontinuity and continuity in parental corporal punishment, particularly within the Chinese cultural context.

Keywords

Corporal punishment Intergenerational transmission Marital satisfaction Gender Chinese 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Key Subject Funds of Shandong Province, PR China (2011–2015). We are grateful to all the children, parents, and teachers who participated or contributed to this project.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyShandong Normal UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China

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