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Parent physical punishment and child aggression in a Singapore Chinese preschool sample


10 Kent Ridge Cresent, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore (


We examine how parental physical punishment (caning and slapping) and child aggression are related, and possible moderation by authoritative control and rejection. A sample of 286 Singapore Chinese preschoolers ages 4–6 reported on rejection; their parents reported on control, caning, and slapping; and their teachers rated child aggression. Results show that father caning is related to aggression, regardless of child gender, whereas mother caning is related to child aggression only at low rejection. Mother slapping is related to sons’ aggression, whereas father slapping is related to daughters’ aggression only at low rejection. Control does not moderate any of the punishment-aggression links. The punishment-aggression link is thus a complex one, dependent on the dyad, the punitive act, and the parent's behavior.