Daily Stress and Use of Aggressive Discipline by Parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Journal of Family Violence
To assess the relationship between stress throughout the day and aggressive discipline practices by parents during COVID-19 stay at home orders. For this study, participants took baseline survey online, then provided data three times a day (10 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.) for 14 consecutive days using Ecological Momentary Assessment procedures. Data were collected from 323 participants, covering 9,357 observations from April 13 to May 27, 2020 in Central Ohio during stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Use of aggressive discipline, including corporal punishment and psychological aggression, was measured using the Dimensions of Discipline Inventory. For each higher level of stress, parents had 1.3 greater odds of using aggressive discipline. Having used aggressive discipline at baseline was related to three times greater odds of using it during the study period. Higher situational stress was associated with use of aggressive parenting. When combined with less contact with mandatory reporters, this places children at risk for abuse and neglect that may go without detection and intervention for longer time-periods. First responders and medical professionals become more important in identifying and reporting suspected child maltreatment, as this may be a child’s only contact with a mandated professional for six months to a year. Well child visits, routine vaccinations, and problem-focused care are important opportunities to assess parents’ stress and discipline practices that may be suggestive of abuse or neglect.
Aggressive Discipline, COVID-19, Ecological Momentary Assessment, Pandemic, Parenting, Stress
Bridget Freisthler, Jennifer Price Wolf, Caileigh Chadwick, and Katherine Renick. "Daily Stress and Use of Aggressive Discipline by Parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Journal of Family Violence (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-021-00340-y