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Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective$
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Michael Donnelly and Murray Straus

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300085471

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300085471.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2020

Difficulties of Making Rational Choices Concerning Corporal Punishment of Children

Difficulties of Making Rational Choices Concerning Corporal Punishment of Children

Chapter:
(p.152) 10 Difficulties of Making Rational Choices Concerning Corporal Punishment of Children
Source:
Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective
Author(s):

Scott Feld

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300085471.003.0010

This chapter discusses the rational-choice perspective on behavior, which focuses on the goals of an actor and the choices that actor makes to further those goals. In the case of parents, understanding their use of corporal punishment of children, in particular, requires attention to parents' goals for the behaviors of their children, and their beliefs about whether corporal punishment helps them reach those goals. Some parents may believe that obedience to authority is an important goal in and of itself, while others may believe that children should internalize moral values and learn to make personal decisions in accord with those values. Whatever the goals of particular parents, a rational-choice theory suggests that parents tend to use corporal punishment to the extent that it is effective in achieving the parents' goals relative to the other available strategies of parenting.

Keywords:   rational-choice perspective, goals, choices, obedience to authority, moral values, personal decisions

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