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Race as a Moderator of Associations Between Spanking and Child Outcomes


Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


The cultural normativeness perspective argues that parenting practices such as spanking are more beneficial for children when they occur in cultural groups within which they are normative. Research on this issue in the United States has focused on race as a marker of culture, and findings have been mixed. The present study presents meta‐analyses of five studies that reported effect sizes separately for White (n = 11,814) and Black (n = 3,065) American children (5 to 14 years of age). Mean weighted effect sizes for both groups indicated statistically significant associations with detrimental outcomes; they were not statistically significantly different from one another. Contrary to the cultural normativeness perspective, these results demonstrate that spanking is similarly associated with detrimental outcomes for White and Black children in the United States.