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Corporal Punishment and Outcomes in Trinidadian Youth: Direct and Indirect Effects

  • Author(s): Gopaul-Knights, Kezia
  • Advisor(s): Jimerson, Shane
  • et al.

There is an abundant amount of research examining the link between corporal punishment and youth outcomes in North America, Europe, and to a lesser extent in the Caribbean. However, there is little research examining this link within the Trinidadian setting. The current study addressed this gap within the literature by examining the association between corporal punishment and outcomes in Trinidadian youth. Specifically, this study investigated the relation between corporal punishment and subjective well-being and externalizing behaviors (bullying and delinquency). Additionally, it explored whether this relation was influenced by parental warmth or rejection and youth’s cultural beliefs about corporal punishment. Results of structural equation modeling revealed that there was a direct link between corporal punishment and youth subjective well-being. Furthermore, it highlighted an indirect link between corporal punishment and subjective well-being through the mediator of parental warmth. Youths’ cultural beliefs about corporal punishment were not a significant mediator in the model. These results were present when gender was used as a control. Additionally, multiple regression results indicated that corporal punishment was associated with both bullying and delinquency when parental warmth, youths’ cultural beliefs about corporal punishment, and gender were used as controls. However, the effect sizes were small. The implications of the results of this study for childrearing and public policy are discussed.

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