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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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Grid-Group Theory and Corporal Punishment

Grid-Group Theory and Corporal Punishment

(p.55) 5 Grid-Group Theory and Corporal Punishment
Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective

Jean Giles-Sims

Charles Lockhart

Yale University Press

This chapter demonstrates the utility of one specific theory of culture—grid-group theory—for explaining variations in parental disciplinary practices. Accordingly, this chapter introduces grid-group theory, derives profiles of four distinct parenting orientations from grid-group theory, explores empirical support for these distinctive cultural orientations toward corporal punishment, briefly discusses the policy implications of grid-group theory with respect to reducing parental use of corporal punishment, and suggests priorities for future research. Grid-group theory, in short, is a means for explaining the origins of social preferences. It offers a means for deriving a diverse but limited number of cultural types based on persons' answers to basic social questions. Grid-group theorists argue that persons' answers to these questions depend on their beliefs and values with respect to two fundamental social dimensions: the need for and legitimacy of external prescription to control behavior (grid) and the desirability of affiliation with others (group).

Keywords:   theory of culture, grid-group theory, parental disciplinary practices, empirical support, policy implications, social preferences

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