Tolerating Force: A Contextual Analysis of the Meaning of Tolerance

Janet M. Ruane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study employs college student survey data to examine the specific social conditions that influence tolerance of the use of force against children. The findings reveal that a certain ambivalence exists regarding parental force to control the behavior of children. Although the respondents are tolerant of parental force used to counteract disrespectful provocations by children, they are less tolerant of force used to counteract age‐related misbehaviors. Implications of these findings are discussed in light of current and future social and family policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalSociological Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1993


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