Kirsten Lee Anderson



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The use of corporal punishment (CP) as a disciplinary strategy is a highly controversial topic among the scientific community and general public alike (Gershoff, 2013). Although there is extensive research examining the outcomes associated with the use of CP, limitations in methodology have made it difficult for researchers to make definitive claims about the outcomes of CP (Baumrind, Larzelere, & Cowan, 2002; Ferguson, 2013; Larzelere & Kuhn, 2005). For example, past studies have not examined the outcomes of CP within the context of individual differences among children. The purpose of this study was to understand if temperament, that is, early appearing, stable individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation (Rothbart & Bates, 1998) moderates the outcomes of CP. Specifically, we sought to answer the following questions: (1) do children who receive CP exhibit higher levels of internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors compared to children who do not receive CP? (2) among children who receive CP, do children with difficult temperaments show greater increases in internalizing and externalizing behavior problems compared to children with moderate temperaments? Analyses were conducted using multilevel growth curve modeling in order to compare siblings who have different disciplinary histories and temperaments while accommodating non-independence of data points. The results and implications of this study are discussed.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Jackson A. Goodnight

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Child Temperament as a Moderator for the Outcomes of Corporal Punishment: A Sibling Comparison Analysis