Mary T. Bowne

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Human Development, Consumer and Family Sciences


Eider's (1997) developmental life span theory identifies how individuals are shaped by historical events and times. Different cohorts of individuals experience different societal and historical issues that relate to how they parent. Older cohorts, or individuals in the late adulthood era , experienced the Great Depression (Elder, 1997). Middle-aged cohorts, or individuals in the middle adulthood era, experienced the "Baby Boom" era and "Hippy" era. Young cohorts, or individuals in the young adulthood era, experienced the technological expansion. This study was used to determine if historical experiences affect disciplining a preschool child. Twenty sets of mothers from different age cohorts completed a survey consisting of misbehavior scenarios that were adapted from a survey developed by Dix & Zambarano (1992). The mothers were asked to choose their preferred method of discipline and then rate the frequency of the other discipline methods with the use of a survey developed by Holden (1989). Then, using the same methods, the mothers were to choose how they were disciplined as a preschool child and rank the ten discipline methods based on the effectiveness. The mothers were also asked to identify which parenting style best related to their parenting expectations. Hypothesis one stated there would be a significant difference among cohorts' perceptions of disciplining and reports of being disciplined. Hypothesis two stated there would be a significant difference among the cohorts' rankings of the ten discipline methods and there would be a significant correlation among the cohorts' identification of parenting styles. Hypothesis three stated there would be a significant difference among the different cohorts' rankings on discipline effectiveness. Hypothesis four stated that there would be a significant difference among the proportion of parenting styles throughout the three cohorts. After using series of one-way Anova's and Crombach's Alpha, no significant differences were found among the four hypothesis. Explanations may include societal, educational, and familial factors that directly influenced the parents' decisions. This study is important in society because individuals need to identify if cultural or societal factors influence the way parents discipline their children. It's specifically pertinent that parents, professionals, and educators examine this information so that they can educate others and understand why discipline methods change throughout time.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Discipline of children Parenting Parents -- Attitudes



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University