229661 Hispanic Fathers' Nativity as a Predictor of Spanking

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Shawna J. Lee, PhD , School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Inna Altschul, PhD , School of Social Work, Denver University, Denver, CO
Sarah R. Shair, BA , School of Social Work & Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
The “Hispanic Paradox” proposes that immigrant status buffers Hispanics from the deleterious consequences associated with low socioeconomic status (Markides & Eschbach, 2005). Based on previous research linking acculturation and Hispanic parenting practices, the majority of which has been conducted on mothers, this study extends the Hispanic Paradox to the parenting behaviors of fathers. We hypothesize that greater acculturation is associated with more spanking, which, in turn, is related to increased aggressive behaviors in children. Maximum likelihood path analyses were conducted using MPlus 5.2 to examine predictors of spanking and aggressive child behavior among 372 foreign- and native-born Hispanic fathers who participated in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a multi-site, community study of urban families. Models accounted for numerous socio-demographic, child-related, and psychosocial variables. The hypothesized model provides a good fit to the data (χ2=8.60, df=5; CFI=.92; RMSEA=.044). Foreign-born fathers are significantly less likely to spank their 3-year-old children than native-born fathers (B=-0.33, p=.001). Further, foreign-born status (B=-0.09, p=.023) and greater religiosity (B=-0.02; p=.048) protect against the development of child aggressive behavior, even in the presence of other significant predictors (spanking B=0.07, p =.001; interpersonal violence B=0.05, p=.015; parenting stress B=0.07, p=.001). This study shows that, among a variety of predictors, fathers' nativity emerges as the strongest predictor of spanking and that less acculturation may serve as a protective mechanism against some negative outcomes typically associated with corporal punishment (e.g., Gershoff, 2002). Child abuse prevention efforts should target changes in parenting practices among Hispanic fathers that occur with acculturation.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Identify fathers who may be more likely to use harsh disciplinary practices. Explain the ways in which acculturation is related to increased risk for the use of spanking among Hispanic fathers. Discuss characteristics of less-acculturated Hispanic fathers that may serve to protect against negative outcomes commonly associated with corporal punishment.

Keywords: Hispanic, Child Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have received federal funding from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention to conduct research on harsh parenting behaviors.
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.