Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Carey Dowling

Relational Format



There are many potential negative effects of corporal punishment when used to discipline a child (Bell & Romano, 2012; Deater-Deckard, Landsford, Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 2003; Straus, 2001) and tendencies to use corporal punishment are passed down through generations (Ben-Arieh & Haj-Yahia, 2008; Ember & Ember, 1994; Muller, 1996). The present study compared changes in beliefs about the appropriateness of corporal punishment in college students who received information on corporal punishment and parenting strategies in a parenting psychology class to students enrolled in non-parenting psychology classes. 116 students from the University of Mississippi participated in the present study, including 96 females and 16 males, whose average age was 20.64 (SD = 1.842), 62.1% were Caucasian, 81.9% were upperclassmen and 65.5% were Psychology majors. Each participant completed three measures of beliefs about the appropriateness of parental use of corporal punishment at the beginning and end of the Fall 2016 semester. Results for all three questionnaires showed a significant main effect of time, and two questionnaires showed a significant interaction effect, which confirmed the hypothesis that students presented with both information on the negative effects of corporal punishment and positive parenting alternatives, show a larger decrease in their support of corporal punishment than students enrolled in other psychology classes. These results contribute to the understanding of college students' opinions regarding corporal punishment and how they may be changed.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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