Israeli Mothers' Willingness to Use Corporal Punishment to Correct the Misbehavior of Their Elementary School Children

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The present study theoretically and methodologically specifies and expands the concept of child misbehavior of the study of corporal punishment (CP). It introduced a new concept and measure designated "Willingness to Use CP." The findings of this study provide initial support for the validity and reliability of this measure among 204 Israeli mothers with at least one child in the first or second elementary school grade. These findings also indicate that the measure is affected by the extent to which the misbehavior offends the mother and by the risk it puts the child in. However, the weight of the former was higher than the latter. It appears that the extent to which the mother feels offended depends on the distance between her and the focus of offense of her child's misbehavior: The closer it is to the mother, the more offended she feels and her willingness to use CP increases. Findings also indicate that there is a strong association between willingness to use and actual use of CP, regardless of appropriateness of child behavior, child gender, and family socioeconomic status. These findings support not only the reliability and validity of this new measure but also its relevance for the study of CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-65
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Zeev Winstok , PhD, is an associate professor at the Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences and a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Society at the University of Haifa, Israel. He received a PhD from the University of Haifa, Israel, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on a wide range of family violence, including partner violence, children’s exposure to interparental violence, and parents’ use of violence against their children. During the past decade, he won prestigious research grants, including a grant for a longitudinal study of the escalation of conflicts to violence among partners from the Israel Scientific Foundation; published dozens of articles in refereed journals in his field, such as Interpersonal Violence, Violence Against Women , and Aggressive Behavior ; and presented his work at numerous international conferences in his field. His book Partner Violence: A New Paradigm for Understanding Conflict Escalation is due for publication by Springer in late 2012 as part of The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality.


  • child misbehavior
  • corporal punishment
  • corrective discipline
  • mother-child relationships
  • social information processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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