Dr. Justin Scott’s research interests are in understanding the individual, family, and contextual processes that predict harsh parenting and the physical punishment of children. Specifically, he is interested in the role of parents’ stress, cognition, and negative emotions in harsh parenting, reducing positive attitudes toward harsh discipline practices, and the role of the Internet, social media, and parent’s information-seeking in perpetuating misinformation about discipline and other parenting topics.
Dr. Scott completed his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. In his dissertation, he evaluated three largely unexamined mechanisms through which parents with positive spanking attitudes could preserve or confirm their attitudes: their biased information-seeking, distrust in research, and overestimations of their scientific knowledge.
As a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland Baltimore, Dr. Scott is working with Dr. Brenda Jones Harden on projects related to physical punishment and harsh parenting in low-income, at-risk families.