Parenting skills: Hispanic immigrants vs. Hispanic-Americans

Hispanic immigrant parents spank their children less when compared to Hispanics born in the United States, a finding that researchers suggest points toward more positive parenting skills among immigrants. According to new research from the University of Michigan, cultural beliefs belonging to Hispanic immigrants allow them to maintain positive parenting practices and parent-child relationships that influence frequency of spanking. SEE ALSO: Children advocates stand behind anti-spanking movement These cultural factors negate outside influences that have been known to increase spanking practice, such as financial stress and alcohol use in the home. In previous research, Hispanic parents in general were found to use physical aggression against their children less frequently than non-Hispanic white and African American parents, but this is the first study to look at the difference between Hispanic immigrant parents and U.S.-born Hispanics. “Immigrant status may be an important protective factor that is associated with lower levels of parenting aggression among Hispanic mothers and fathers living in the United States,” Shawna Lee, U-M assistant professor of social work and the study’s lead author, said in statement. Lee and her team found that, while Hispanic immigrant parents were less likely to spank children, heavy alcohol use, domestic violence and education of both parents significantly predict spanking of children older than 3 in Hispanic households. Hispanic mothers were also more likely to spank if they were single parents, and Hispanic fathers were more likely to spank male children. Hispanic mothers were also more likely to spank if they adhered to gender norms, such as “important decisions in the family should be made by the man of the house” and “it is much better for everyone if the man earns the main living and the woman takes care of the home and family.” Hispanic immigrants spank children less While spanking is often viewed as “old school” or a traditional form of punishment common among older generations and cultures, this does not appear to be the case for Hispanics and even less so for Hispanic immigrant parents. But what benefit is there to spanking less? According to numerous research studies, spanking less is doing much more for a child’s health than a parent might realize. In 2013, research came out that took a deeper look into why people use physical aggression as a form of punishment. What experts indicated was that physical acts like spanking were about more than just punishment, they were often–but not always–a reflection of mental struggles going on inside the disciplinarian. People who spanked children often were likely in need of stress relief, and the child was literally acting as a punching bag. “Research shows that spanking corrects misbehavior,” stated researcher Murray Straus, in a press release at the time. “But it also shows that spanking does not work better than other modes of correction, such as time out, explaining, and depriving a child of privileges. Moreover, the research clearly shows that the gains from spanking come at a big cost. These include weakening the tie between children and parents and increasing the probability that the child will hit other children and their parents, and as adults, hit a dating or marital partner. Spanking also slows down mental development and lowers the probability of a child doing well in school.” Murray has published significant data over the last two decades on spanking, and in even earlier research had been able to link spanking to an increased risk for sexual issues as adults. SEE ALSO: Being a good father when you didn’t have one “The core idea of this study is that being spanked by loving parents confuses love with violence, which increases the probability that violence will be part of making love,” he said in a university statement. “What is new about this study is a scientific test of the idea that being spanked as a child inclines people to want to be spanked when having sex, and that this is especially likely to be true when there is a combination of lots of spanking and lots of love.” As for the children of Hispanic immigrant parents, researchers have not yet delved into whether or not less spanking has played a positive role in their lives. If the general research on spanking is correct, however, it can be assumed that Hispanic parents are giving their children and advantage by “sparing the rod and spoiling the child.”The post Parenting skills: Hispanic immigrants vs. Hispanic-Americans appeared first on Voxxi.

New research suggests Hispanic immigrant parents are less likely to spank their children. (Shutterstock)

Hispanic immigrant parents spank their children less when compared to Hispanics born in the United States, a finding that researchers suggest points toward more positive parenting skills among immigrants.

According to new research from the University of Michigan, cultural beliefs belonging to Hispanic immigrants allow them to maintain positive parenting practices and parent-child relationships that influence frequency of spanking.

SEE ALSO: Children advocates stand behind anti-spanking movement

These cultural factors negate outside influences that have been known to increase spanking practice, such as financial stress and alcohol use in the home.

In previous research, Hispanic parents in general were found to use physical aggression against their children less frequently than non-Hispanic white and African American parents, but this is the first study to look at the difference between Hispanic immigrant parents and U.S.-born Hispanics.

“Immigrant status may be an important protective factor that is associated with lower levels of parenting aggression among Hispanic mothers and fathers living in the United States,” Shawna Lee, U-M assistant professor of social work and the study’s lead author, said in statement.

Lee and her team found that, while Hispanic immigrant parents were less likely to spank children, heavy alcohol use, domestic violence and education of both parents significantly predict spanking of children older than 3 in Hispanic households. Hispanic mothers were also more likely to spank if they were single parents, and Hispanic fathers were more likely to spank male children.

Hispanic mothers were also more likely to spank if they adhered to gender norms, such as “important decisions in the family should be made by the man of the house” and “it is much better for everyone if the man earns the main living and the woman takes care of the home and family.”

Hispanic immigrants spank children less

While spanking is often viewed as “old school” or a traditional form of punishment common among older generations and cultures, this does not appear to be the case for Hispanics and even less so for Hispanic immigrant parents.

But what benefit is there to spanking less? According to numerous research studies, spanking less is doing much more for a child’s health than a parent might realize.

In 2013, research came out that took a deeper look into why people use physical aggression as a form of punishment. What experts indicated was that physical acts like spanking were about more than just punishment, they were often–but not always–a reflection of mental struggles going on inside the disciplinarian.

People who spanked children often were likely in need of stress relief, and the child was literally acting as a punching bag.

Time outs are important lessons
Research shows time outs work just as well as spanking. (Shutterstock)

“Research shows that spanking corrects misbehavior,” stated researcher Murray Straus, in a press release at the time.

“But it also shows that spanking does not work better than other modes of correction, such as time out, explaining, and depriving a child of privileges. Moreover, the research clearly shows that the gains from spanking come at a big cost. These include weakening the tie between children and parents and increasing the probability that the child will hit other children and their parents, and as adults, hit a dating or marital partner. Spanking also slows down mental development and lowers the probability of a child doing well in school.”

Murray has published significant data over the last two decades on spanking, and in even earlier research had been able to link spanking to an increased risk for sexual issues as adults.

SEE ALSO: Being a good father when you didn’t have one

“The core idea of this study is that being spanked by loving parents confuses love with violence, which increases the probability that violence will be part of making love,” he said in a university statement. “What is new about this study is a scientific test of the idea that being spanked as a child inclines people to want to be spanked when having sex, and that this is especially likely to be true when there is a combination of lots of spanking and lots of love.”

As for the children of Hispanic immigrant parents, researchers have not yet delved into whether or not less spanking has played a positive role in their lives. If the general research on spanking is correct, however, it can be assumed that Hispanic parents are giving their children and advantage by “sparing the rod and spoiling the child.”

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