MA Community Psychology Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Psychology, MA



First Advisor

Bryant Carlson


The purpose of this research is to explore disciplinary practices employed by families from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. In history, corporal punishment, (CP; also known as flagellation) was a practice widely used in religious settings during the eighth century. The social norm was to whip for punishment but also for pleasure. For some, CP is one way of disciplining children in home and in school settings. There are signs that are present in determining whether a parent may practice CP in the home that include certain parenting behaviors, socioeconomic status (SES), parent mood, and discipline responses. It has been seen that the risk of a child being physically abused increases when his or her parent(s) practice CP. The parental SES and ethnicity are determinants for the practice of corporal punishment. The use of CP negatively impacts the child due to the physical abuse that can occur by using CP. When a child has been physically abused, he or she has a greater chance of becoming violent into adulthood, having mental health issues, and engaging in criminal antisocial behaviors. The design of this study was experimental and had a quantitative method component. There were 74 participants randomly selected from the Concordia University campus to participate in a 17-question survey, which assessed CP experience of the student, parents’ income, and race. The hypothesis of this study is Caucasian students from upper-class backgrounds will report a higher number of CP experiences than non-Caucasian students from lower and middle class backgrounds. The results of this study indicated there is no significances or differences between CP experiences, income levels, and race.