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Some Social Antecedents of Physical Punishment: A Linkage Theory Interpretation

Murray A. Straus
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 33, No. 4, Special Double Issue: Violence and the Family and Sexism in Family Studies, Part 2 (Nov., 1971), pp. 658-663
DOI: 10.2307/349438
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/349438
Page Count: 6
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Some Social Antecedents of Physical Punishment: A Linkage Theory Interpretation
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Abstract

More than half of the 229 university students in this survey reported actual or threatened use of physical punishment during their last year of high school. There were no important differences in the frequency with which middle and working class parents used physical punishment. However, physical punishment was found to vary with sex of the child and with the traits which parents valued in their children. These findings are interpreted as supporting a "linkage theory" explanation of use of physical punishment. This theory holds that the use of physical punishment by parents is influenced by the parents' conception of the roles the child is to play as an adult.

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