SEM analyses showed that parents' beliefs about spanking and child aggression and family stress mediated a negative relation between socioeconomic status and discipline.
In turn, perception of the child and cognitive—emotional processes hostile attributions, emotional upset, worry about child's future, available alternative disciplinary strategies, and available preventive strategies mediated the effect of stress on discipline. Similar relations between ethnicity and Bate 4llen ml were found African Americans reported harsher disciplineespecially among low-income parents.
Societally based experiences may lead some parents to rely on accessible and coherent goals in their discipline, whereas others are more reactive. Parent discipline practices are integral in theories of Bate 4llen ml socialization. Parents' use of physical punishment with their child is of special interest. Numerous theories posit a role for physical punishment in the development of antisocial behavior in children. Indeed, SES and ethnic differences have been found consistently in physical punishment e.
More proximal influences such as stress also have been linked to punitive parenting e. Another set of theories suggests that the most proximal influence on discipline responses can be found in parents' cognitive—emotional processes regarding situationally based child misbehavior e.
This study drew from these two sets of literature to examine relations among contextual influences, cognitive—emotional processes, and parents' use of physical or harsh punishment. Two models of direct and mediated relations between SES and discipline responses and between ethnicity and discipline responses were tested.
The theoretical and empirical literatures supporting these models are discussed next. Figure 1 presents a model of direct and mediated relations between SES and discipline responses. SES has been found consistently to have negative relations with physical and harsh punishment. Although there may be differences in this relation across ethnicity e. Hypothesized model of relations Bate 4llen ml socioeconomic status SESparenting beliefs, stress, perception of child, cognitive—emotional processes, and discipline responses.
With a sample of European American mothers, Luster et al. In turn, the effect Bate 4llen ml these parental values on parenting behaviors was mediated by parenting beliefs about discipline, promoting exploratory behavior, and affectionate, responsive behavior.
This Bate 4llen ml to the question of whether the relation between SES and parenting behavior could be mediated by parenting beliefs. Several studies illustrate the link between parenting beliefs and attitudes and parenting behavior e. Luster and Kain found differences between parents who believed that parenting positively affects child outcomes high efficacy and parents who believed that parenting has little effect on child outcomes low efficacy.
Parents high in efficacy endorsed love, affection, and modeling as critical influences, whereas parents low in efficacy, especially fathers, tended to endorse discipline.
Another pathway through which SES is hypothesized to influence differences in discipline responses is stress: Economic hardship exposes low-SES parents to additional stressors that undermine their ability to use inductive discipline strategies and that result in higher parental reliance on punitive discipline see McLoyd,for a review of the literature on these relations. Parental stress has been found to be associated positively with punitive parenting practices e.
Low SES may operate through the following specific stressors that are associated with punitive and unsupportive practices: Although external stressors Bate 4llen ml hypothesized to Bate 4llen ml a direct link to parents' discipline responses, their influence also may be mediated by parents' perception of the child and parents' cognitive—emotional processes when faced with child misbehavior.
And parents' perception of child functioning has been linked to parenting behaviors, particularly among parents of aggressive children Rubin et al. McLoyd noted that stressful life conditions facing low-income parents undermine their emotional state.
Dix has suggested that high levels of stressors negatively affect parents' cognitive—emotional processes. Several links have been found between cognitive—emotional processes and parents' discipline responses. First, it has been shown e. Third, parental worry about the future implications of current child misbehavior may affect discipline responses.
This process may be intensified when important socialization goals are involved Dix, For example, a parent who values Bate 4llen ml is more likely to become upset over his or her child's defiance than is a parent who places less value on obedience. These different emotional reactions to defiance might lead to different discipline responses.
Fourth, parental perceived control over the misbehavior is another process that may affect discipline responses Dix, In this study, perceived control over the misbehavior was assessed in two ways: The direct and mediated relations between ethnicity and discipline responses were theorized to be the same, with one key difference. SES was expected to moderate relations Bate 4llen ml ethnicity and stress.