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The Examination of Protective Factors between Corporal Punishment and Adolescent Aggression

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Neaverson, Aimee Elizabeth  ORCID logo


Objectives The development of aggression from childhood to adulthood is well-researched, and extant work has identified a large number of developmental risk factors within the individual, family, and social domains. Among them, poor parenting, including harsh practices like corporal punishment, have repeatedly been found to predict adolescent behavioural problems, that may then negatively affect adult behaviours such as violence and offending. An area of research that is becoming increasingly important is one that seeks to identify the reasons why some people do not become aggressive, even when they have been exposed to well established risk factors. What is it that has protected them from becoming aggressive later in life? The current study examined whether self-control and having a positive teacher-child relationship acted as protective factors between corporal punishment and adolescent aggression.

Methods An autoregressive cross-lagged panel model was used to examine self-control and teacher-child relationships as both direct and interactive protective factors between corporal punishment and adolescent aggression. Teacher and self-reported data was used from three waves (waves 4-6) of the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children and Youths (Z-proso), a prospective longitudinal study of adolescents in Switzerland.

Results The results show that both self-control and having a positive teacher-child relationship were direct protective factors against concurrent aggression. However, the interactive protective effect of these factors differed depending on the stage of adolescence and level of exposure to risk. Furthermore, differences were found when considering males and females separately.





Eisner, Manuel
Murray, Aja


Protective factors, Teacher-child relationship, Self-control, Corporal punishment, Adolescent aggression, longitudinal design


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge