Trajectories of mothers’ discipline strategies and interparental conflict: Interrelated change during middle childhood.
Lansford, J. E., Staples, A. D., Bates, J. E., Pettit, G. S., & Dodge, K. A. (2013). Trajectories of mothers’ discipline strategies and interparental conflict: Interrelated change during middle childhood. Journal of Family Communication, 13, 178-195.
Abstract: Using data collected annually when children were in kindergarten through 3rdgrade (N = 478), this study investigated changes in mothers’ use of nonharsh, harsh verbal, and physical discipline; changes in interparental conflict; and associations between changes in discipline and interparental conflict. Controlling for potential confounds, physical discipline decreased over the course of middle childhood, whereas harsh verbal and nonharsh discipline remained stable. Increases in interparental conflict were associated with increases in physical discipline; decreases in interparental conflict were associated with decreases in physical discipline. Change in interparental conflict was unrelated to change in harsh verbal or nonharsh discipline, although more frequent interparental conflict was associated with more frequent use of all three types of discipline in 1stgrade. Findings extend previous research on how two major forms of communication within families—conflict between parents and parents’ attempts to influence their children through discipline—change across middle childhood.