Study Finds ‘Significant Generational Changes’ in Parenting Practices

A new study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University found that fathers who were spanked as children are less likely to spank their own children than mothers who were spanked while young.

The study of 1133 young adult parents, whose mothers took part in a 15-year study from 1979, found significant generational changes in parenting practices.

Researchers set out to see if 1990s parents followed the practices of their own mothers but found parents today were showing a lot more affection to their children, reading to them more and spanking them less.

“We were surprised that mothers seem to learn a lot about the parenting role from their own mothers, but fathers don’t follow their mothers as much,” said researcher Jonathan Vespa in a statement.

Overall, there was a large generational shift in which the second generation of parents was much less likely to spank than their own parents.

Finding Highlights:

  • Second generation mothers who were spanked at least once a week were found to be nearly half as more likely to spank their own children compared to mothers who weren’t spanked.
  • Fathers spanked as children were less likely to spank their own children
  • Only 28 per cent of the second generation of fathers reported spanking their children compared to 43 per cent of mothers
  • Sixty per cent of fathers and 73 per cent of mothers in the second generation reported showing their children physical affection and praising them within the last week compared to only 40 per cent of their parents openly showing affection weekly
  • Nearly three times more mothers in the second generation reported reading to their children daily compared to their own parents

In general, the amount of affection that parents show their children has increased significantly over the generations.

via reader Nadia (thank you!)

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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