Parents who use marijuana are more likely to discipline their children, using both violent and non-violent methods.

Researchers from Ohio State University interviewed 3,023 parents of children 12 years or younger. The team asked about recent and past use of alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other drugs. They also asked about disciplinary measures, including non-violent discipline such as timeouts, corporal punishment such as spanking, and physical abuse such as punching a child.

The researchers found that parents who used marijuana in the last year tended to discipline their children more than non-users in all three capacities. This was true even after researchers considered other factors that might impact one’s disciplinary approach, including stress, depression, and demographic. 

Additionally, the team saw that the more substances parents used, the more often they disciplined their children.

This study suggests that marijuana use affects parenting decisions. Researchers say that it’s important we stay cautious about the effects of marijuana, as it becomes legalized and more mainstream. 


Freisthler, B., Kepple, N. J. (2019, July 15). Types of Substance Use and Punitive Parenting: A Preliminary Exploration. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. Retrieved from