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Corporal Punishment in Adolescence and Physical Assaults on Spouses in Later Life: What Accounts for the Link?

Murray A. Straus and Carrie L. Yodanis
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Nov., 1996), pp. 825-841
DOI: 10.2307/353973
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353973
Page Count: 17
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Corporal Punishment in Adolescence and Physical Assaults on Spouses in Later Life: What Accounts for the Link?
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Abstract

There is considerable evidence that corporal punishment is associated with the subsequent aggression of children, and there is recent evidence that later in life this aggression includes physical assaults on spouses. Yet there has been no direct test of either modeling of cultural norms or other processes that could account for the link between corporal punishment and partner violence. Using data on 4,401 couples who participated in the National Family Violence Survey, this article reports such a test. The theoretical model specified three processes: social learning, depression, and truncated development of nonviolent conflict-resolution skills. Logistic regression was used to estimate separate models for men and women. The findings are consistent with the theoretical model. Because corporal punishment of adolescents occurs in over half of U.S. families, the findings suggest that elimination of this practice can reduce some of the psychological and social processes that increase the likelihood of future marital violence and perhaps other violence as well.

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