225674 Parents' professional sources of advice regarding child discipline and corporal punishment: Implications for child physical abuse prevention

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Catherine A. Taylor, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
William Moeller, MSW, MPH , Foster Care Program, Children's Home + Aid, Bloomington, IL
Lauren Hamvas, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Janet C. Rice, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Background: Corporal punishment (CP) is a highly prevalent and strong risk factor for child physical abuse. Therefore, teaching parents not to use CP and to use other forms of child discipline is an important public health approach to preventing child abuse. Knowing what professionals parents go to and listen to for advice regarding child discipline is essential to prevention education. Methods: Interviews were conducted with parents in a Southern city using a random-digit-dial telephone survey (n=500). Parents were asked about their help-seeking and following behaviors regarding child discipline. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted. Results: When it comes to seeking advice from a professional source about how best to discipline their children, most parents were most likely to seek advice from a pediatrician (48%), followed by a religious leader (21%), and mental health professionals, such as social workers (18%). Christians (non-Catholics) and those who attended religious services more frequently had the highest odds of seeking advice from a religious leader; race was insignificant once religious variables were accounted for. Parents who used CP were less likely than parents who did not use CP to think that “most parents could use help or guidance from a professional… on how best to discipline their child,” and less likely to be aware of “non physical types of discipline that work just as well as physical discipline.” Discussion: Findings will inform the development of corporal punishment and child physical abuse prevention efforts that target professionals who advise parents about child discipline.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Name the top three professional sources that parents are most likely to seek advice from regarding child discipline. 2. Describe parental factors associated with at least one of those professional sources of parenting advice. 3. Differentiate beliefs held by parents that use corporal punishment versus those who do not.

Keywords: Child Abuse, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have an MSW, MPH, and PhD and I'm an assistant professor of community health sciences that conducts research on the topic of my presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.