Childhood Corporal Punishment and Future Perpetration of Physical Dating Violence

Jeff R. Temple, Hye Jeong Choi, Tyson Reuter, David Wolfe, Catherine A. Taylor, Sheri Madigan, Lauren E. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To test whether experiencing childhood corporal punishment is linked to later perpetration of dating violence. Study design: Young adults (n = 758; 61% female; mean age of 20 years), originally recruited for a longitudinal study as 9th- and 10th-grade Texas high school students, were asked about their childhood experiences with corporal punishment and physical abuse, as well as current experiences with dating violence. A path model was used to determine whether childhood corporal punishment was related to recent perpetration of physical dating violence, while controlling for childhood physical abuse, age, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Results: In all, 19% of participants (n = 134) reported physical dating violence perpetration and 68% reported experiencing corporal punishment as children (n = 498). Analysis showed a significant positive association between corporal punishment and physical perpetration of dating violence (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.07-1.59). Even after controlling for sex, ethnicity, age, parental education, and child physical abuse, childhood corporal punishment was associated significantly with physical dating violence perpetration (aOR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02-1.62). Conclusions: The finding that childhood corporal punishment was associated with perpetration of young adult physical dating violence, even after controlling for several demographic variables and childhood physical abuse, adds to the growing literature demonstrating deleterious outcomes associated with corporal punishment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • childhood corporal punishment
  • childhood physical abuse
  • dating violence
  • spanking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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