International Parenting Study

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Meng-Chu Tsai, BS1
Yi-Wen Chen, BS2
Min-Fung Wu, BS3
Jui-Ying Feng, DNS, PNP2
1Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan city, Taiwan
2Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
3Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: To understand the prevalence of discipline strategies in Taiwan

Learning Objective 2: To understand the impact of different discipline strategies on children’s adjustment, attitudes and relationships to their parents in Taiwan

Purpose: The purposes of this study were to understand the use of disciplinary methods by parents in Taiwan, and to explore its impact on parent-child relationship

Methods: A descriptive and correlational study design was conducted using a convenience sample of 240 students from three universities in southern Taiwan. The Dimensions of Discipline Inventory Scale was used to collect data. Descriptive and regression analyses were used to analyze data from 212 valid questionnaires.

Results: Participants aged ranging from 18 to 25 years old with a mean age of 20.09 (SD = 1.681), and most were female. The main parenting responsibility falls to participants’ mothers. Participants felt most of their parents’ disciplines were unfair (Mother: 53.8%, Father: 57.1%). The most common disciplinary strategies used by Taiwanese parents for this sample were explaining and teaching. Although mothers were accountable for the majority of disciplines for children, fewer maternal disciplines showed significant relationships with children’s adjustment problems. Paternal disciplinary strategies, including deprivation of privileges, diversion, explaining/teaching, and psychological aggression, positively correlated with children’s anxiety and depression, partly with children’s self-control ability, and children’s personal mastery.  Parent-child relationships negatively correlated with maternal corporal punishment, parental psychological aggression, but positively correlated with parental reward.

Conclusion: Different parental discipline strategies in childhood significantly influence participants’ adaptations, attitudes toward violence, and parent-child relationships in various degrees. Parental discipline strategies have been changed overtime in Taiwan. Corporal punishment and psychological aggression were highly correlated, and the joint effects have significantly worsened the parent-child relationship. Health care providers can facilitate better communication between parents and children because of the inconsistence about the perception of disciplines.