Teachers' and students' beliefs about punishment

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360 1st, 3rd and 5th graders and their 16 teachers from 3 school systems were interviewed in the fall and spring of the same school year to assess the developing relationship between teachers' and students' beliefs about punishment. Older children were less punitive than younger children. Teachers remained relatively punitive compared with 5th graders. Teachers with more punitive beliefs had students whose beliefs were more punitive when compared with students whose teachers had less punitive beliefs. Children and teachers thought that teachers should give more punitive responses than peers for the same misbehavior. The school systems that allowed corporal punishment had students with more punitive beliefs than the school system without corporal punishment. Results indicate that the school environment is perceived to be authoritarian and punitive by students and teachers. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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