Date of Conferral







Thomas King


This study examined whether cultural factors could predict parents' attitudes toward the use of harsh physical punishment on their children in Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria. Presuming that most people disapprove of child abuse, different cultural groups may define the parental behaviors that constitute abuse differently, and such variances may result in a disparity of identification of parents from some cultures as more abusive than others. Four different independent cultural variables were measured: (a) conflict tactics, (b) nurturance, (c) drinking, and (d) valuing children. Form P, Part E of Dimension of Disciplinary Inventory (DDI) was used to measure parents' perception of physical punishment. Part C of Form P of DDI was used to measure Conflict tactics. Nurturance scale was used to measure the warmth patents display toward their children. Valuing Scale was used to measure the amount of value parents place on their children, while Heavy Drinking Scale measured parents' frequency of drinking. Random sampling approach was used to select 269 parents' who were administered the questionnaires. A multiple linear regression analysis was applied to examine the contributions of the independent variables with the dependent variable of parents' attitudes toward physical punishment of children The results of the multiple regression analysis showed that all 4 cultural variables predicted parental attitudes toward physical punishment. Results will provide greater understanding of the Nigerian attitudes toward physical punishment of children, and thus offer a foundation for future public education with the goal of reducing the use of physical punishment at the individual and community levels.