Parent attitudes and discipline practices: Profiles and correlates in a nationally representative sample

Ross A. Thompson, Elaine H. Christiansen, Shelly Jackson, Jennifer M. Wyatt, Rebecca A. Colman, Reece L. Peterson, Brian L. Wilcox, Chad W. Buckendahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The responses of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents to a survey concerning parent attitudes, disciplinary practices, and other predictors of competent parenting were analyzed. Cluster analysis identified three subgroups based on their profiles of parenting attitudes and discipline. The first was high on physical discipline, neglect, verbal abuse, and attitudes that devalue children. They reported childhood abuse and domestic violence, marital difficulty, and problems managing anger. The second group was high on nonphysical as well as physical discipline, and had a more positive attitude toward children but also had a profile of psychosocial risk. The third group had low scores on all disciplinary practices, low perceived disciplinary efficacy, and a healthy marital and personal history. These groups are different from traditional parenting typologies, and the findings confirm theoretical predictions concerning the correlates of parenting problems and raise new questions concerning the convergence of physically punitive with nonpunitive discipline practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-330
Number of pages15
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Parent attitudes and discipline practices: Profiles and correlates in a nationally representative sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this