This study examined whether experiencing childhood corporal punishment is linked to later perpetration of dating violence.
Young adults (n=758; 61 percent female; mean age of 20 years), who were 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. The study determined that 19 percent of participants (n=201;134) reported physical dating violence perpetration, and 68 percent reported experiencing corporal punishment as children. Analysis showed a significant positive association between corporal punishment and physical perpetration of dating violence ). Even after controlling for sex, ethnicity, age, parental education, and child physical abuse, childhood corporal punishment was associated significantly with physical dating violence perpetration (OR 1.29, 95 percent CI1.02-1.62). (Publisher abstract modified)