Mentor: Dr. David Finkelhor, Professor of Sociology
Do Blacks of different regions, economic status, and educational backgrounds share the same attitudes about punishing their children? A Statistical Analysis of differences among Blacks in corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment is an accepted norm in many African-American households. Studies show that African-American parents have a higher rate of disciplining their children as compared with their white counterparts. Corporal punishment is defined in this study as "the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control of the child's behavior." A SPSS statistical analysis was conducted using data from a nationally representative sample of 997 American parents interviewed in 1995, where 122 respondents identified as Black. SPSS was used to create new variable columns where the Black respondents answers could be studied independently. Data was displayed in cross-tabulations of variables such as region, economic status, and educational background. Statistical significance and strength of association of the bivariate relationships was measured using Pearson's chi square, Cramer's V, and gamma. The project's aim is to examine whether Black people of different backgrounds maintain similar views and behaviors with respect to corporal punishment and therefore share similar cultural values.