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11.5: Children and Parental Discipline
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- Define the four major styles of parental discipline and summarize the differences among them.
- Explain why spanking may ironically promote antisocial behavior by children.
- Understanding how parenting style may differ by social class.
Social Class Differences
- Of the four styles of parental discipline, authoritative discipline is thought to be the best for children’s development.
- Spanking may ironically promote antisocial behavior by children, in part because it conditions them to behave only to avoid physical punishment.
- Classic research by Melvin Kohn found that working-class parents are more likely than middle-class parents to emphasize obedience in their children.
For Your Review
- Thinking back to your childhood, which style of discipline did your parent(s) practice? Do you think this was a good style for them to use with you? Why or why not?
- How often were you spanked when you were a child? Do you think spanking helped you behave better? Explain your answer.
- Whether or not you plan to have children, imagine that you become a parent someday. Decide what style of discipline you would practice and write a brief essay in which you explain why you chose this style.