Authoritarianism and the transgenerational transmission of corporal punishment

In: Child Abuse & Neglect 106


Vera Clemens, Oliver Decker, Paul Plener, Andreas Witt, Cedric Sachser, Elmar Brähler & Jörg Fegert


Authoritarianism, firstly described by Horkheimer in 1936, is characterized by submission to authorities, aggression against subordinates and conventionalism. Authoritarianism is discussed as major contributor for right-wing attitudes. Horkheimer hypothesized that authoritarianism has its origin in the experience of harsh parenting and exposure to corporal punishment (CP) by authoritarian parents. The other way around, literature points towards an association between conventionalism and support of CP as disciplinary method, suggesting a role of authoritarianism in the vicious cycle of transgenerational transmission of CP.

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