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.
- Childhood corporal punishment
- Childhood physical abuse
- Dating violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health