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Harsh parenting during early childhood and child development

Matias Berthelon, Dante Contreras (), Diana Kruger and María Isidora Palma

Economics & Human Biology, 2020, vol. 36, issue C

Abstract: We study the relationship between harsh parenting strategies, including psychological and physical aggressions that do not constitute abuse, on early childhood cognitive and socio-emotional development. We estimate a value-added model that controls for a rich set of child, mother, and family characteristics, from a nationally representative sample of Chilean children aged 52–83 months. We find harsh parenting is significantly associated with lower verbal skills (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) of a magnitude of 0.06 standard deviations, and with increased behavioral problems (Child Behavior Check List), by 0.11 standard deviations, including internalization, externalization, and sleep problems. We also find that the more systematic (persistent) harsh parenting is, the stronger the association; the association is similar for boys and girls; reaches its peak at about 5 years of age; and it is stronger for children with less educated mothers.

Keywords: Harsh parenting; Violence toward children; Spanking; Corporal punishment; Child development; Cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes; Chile (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 J12 J13 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.100831

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