Long-term effects of child corporal punishment on depressive symptoms in young adults - Potential moderators and mediators

Academic Article


  • Based on a sample of 649 students from 3 New England colleges, this study examined the long-term effects of childhood corporal punishment on symptoms of depression and considered factors that may moderate or mediate the association. Similar to national studies, approximately 40% of the sample reported experiencing some level of corporal punishment when they were 13 years old. Findings indicated that level of corporal punishment is positively related to depressive symptoms, independent of any history of abuse and the frequency of other forms of punishment. Although parental monitoring and perceived norms regarding corporal punishment had no direct or moderating effects, level of parental anger during corporal punishment was the strongest predictor of depression. The association between “angry corporal punishment” and symptoms of depression in young adulthood is partially mediated by mastery and self-esteem. Implications of these finding are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Turner, Heather
  • Muller, PA
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2004
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • corporal punishment
  • depression
  • parental anger
  • self-concept
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 761
  • End Page

  • 782
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 6