Punitive parenting and delinquency: The mediating role of short-term mindsets

Jean-Louis van Gelder* (Corresponding Author), Margit Averdijk, Denis Ribeaud, Manuel Eisner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing from life history theory and developmental perspectives, we test the hypothesis that the relation between parental discipline practices and delinquency is explained in part by short-term mindsets. We argue that such practices induce an orientation towards the here-and-now rather than the future, which, in turn, promotes delinquency. We used longitudinal data (N = 1,197) from the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood into Adulthood (z-proso). We distinguished between two types of disciplining practices, corporal and inconsistent punishment, which map onto two main environmental parameters, harshness and unpredictability. Results show that short-term mindsets, operationalized by impulsivity and low future orientation, mediate the relation between corporal and erratic punishment and delinquency, with impulsivity being the most important mediator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-666
Number of pages23
JournalBritish journal of criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Future orientation
  • Impulsivity
  • Life history theory
  • Punitive parenting
  • Short-term mindsets
  • Delinquency
  • Abonnement


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