TABLE 2

Effect of Parental Spanking on Child’s Externalizing CBCL Scores at Age 9

VariableModel 1: Spanking (SE)Model 2: Child and Family Characteristics (SE)Model 3: Maternal Mental Health and Cognition (SE)Model 4: Earlier Child 
Behavior (SE)
Mother spanking ≥twice/wk at age 3a1.25* (0.55)1.02+ (0.54)0.81 (0.53)0.21 (0.50)
Mother spanking <twice/wk at age 3a0.38 (0.36)0.28 (0.35)0.14 (0.34)−0.04 (0.33)
Mother spanking ≥twice/wk at age 5a3.79*** (0.74)3.15*** (0.73)2.66*** (0.72)1.83** (0.68)
Mother spanking <twice/wk at age 5a1.59*** (0.35)1.42*** (0.34)1.17** (0.34)0.65* (0.32)
Father spanking ≥twice/wk at age 3a0.26 (0.74)0.23 (0.73)0.02 (0.72)−0.24 (0.68)
Father spanking <twice/wk at age 3a0.36 (0.40)0.31 (0.40)0.21 (0.39)−0.19 (0.37)
Father spanking ≥twice/wk at age 5a−0.31 (1.12)−0.33 (1.10)−0.33 (1.07)0.18 (1.02)
Father spanking <twice/wk at age 5a−0.14 (0.43)0.01 (0.42)0.17 (0.41)0.25 (0.39)
Control variables included in model
 Child and family characteristics
 Maternal mental health and cognition
 Earlier child externalizing at age 3
Constant4.78*** (0.31)6.11 (4.86)11.39* (4.91)4.32 (4.68)
Observations1933193319331933
R20.040.100.140.23
  • Model 1: Includes only the parental spanking variables.

  • Model 2: Introduces controls for child and family characteristics: child gender; child’s age; child first born; child emotional temperament at age 1; maternal age at birth; marital status at baseline and at age 9; maternal race or ethnicity; maternal education; household income to needs ratio; mother foreign born; mother lived with both her parents at age 15; maternal employment in past 2 wk; number of adults in household at age 9; number of other children in household at age 9; maternal prenatal drugs, alcohol, or smoking; maternal prenatal IPV exposure; supportive birth father; and late starting or no prenatal care.

  • Model 3: Includes same controls as Model 2 and adds controls for low maternal stress at age 5, indication of maternal depression of general anxiety disorder over past 9 y, mother’s impulsivity at year 5, and mother’s WAIS-R similarities score at year 3.

  • Model 4: Includes same controls as Model 3 and adds a control for the child’s earlier externalizing CBCL score at age 3.

  • a Omitted category is parent not spanking (all models also include controls for father absent at age 3 and father absent at age 5 interviews).

  • *** P < .001;

  • ** P < .01;

  • * P < .05;

  • + P < .07.