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Parent disciplinary behavior can have a significant effect on children’s social and emotional development. Past research has suggested that ineffective discipline influenced child conduct problems at school (Snyder, Cramer, Afrank, & Patterson, 2005). In addition, parental disciplinary styles have been utilized to predict internalizing and externalizing behaviors outside of the home. Internalizing misbehaviors can be exemplified through child anxiousness, sadness, or any problematic internal thoughts. Externalizing misbehaviors, however, are typically displayed through aggressive or defiant behaviors. Physical punishment and harsh discipline of children have been associated with adverse mental health outcomes. Specifically, physical punishment has been correlated with externalizing problem behavior (Kerr, Lopez, Olson, & Sameroff, 2004). Parental harsh disciplining has been found to predict both self-reported child behavior problems and parental observations of child behavioral and emotional problems (Mackenbach et al., 2014).

The current study examines the relationship between parental disciplinary styles and their child’s misbehaviors in the classroom. Parental surveys and children’s social emotional behaviors were rated by their teachers using the Social Competence and Behavioral Evaluation (SCBE, LaFrenier, 1995). More than 78 parents with children, between ages three to five, reported the frequency of various forms of parental disciplinary actions taken in regulating their child’s behaviors at home. The SCBE four summary scales (social competence, externalizing problems, internalizing problems, and general adaptation), along with subscales in children’s aggression and oppositional behaviors were used to examine the relationship between parental disciplinary beliefs and their children’s behaviors at school. Harsh parenting styles are expected to be linked with more problematic behaviors in children, both internalizing and externalizing, as reported by teachers. The detailed results and implications of how effective disciplinary strategies facilitate children’s social emotional competence in the classroom will be shared and discussed.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 2204

  • Event date
    • 2 November 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022