Because spanking is common, puts children at risk for harmful side effects, and is ineffective as a positive behavior management tool, it is important to identify the kind of advice families receive about the appropriateness of spanking. Using the health belief model, I examined spankers and nonspankers on the spanking messages they received from eight sources of discipline information and how important they perceived these messages to be. Data from telephone interviews with 998 mothers with children aged 2 to 14 years showed that 33% of mothers rated advice from workshops, pediatricians, newspapers and magazines, and books as ‘‘very important.’’ Less than 15% rated parents and relatives and friends as such. Spankers perceived sources as recommending spanking, whereas nonspankers perceived sources as opposing spanking. Mothers were more likely to spank when they perceived more intense messages to spank, less intense messages opposing spanking, had younger children, and were of lower socioeconomic status.

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Family Relations



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