The family, as the primary instance of socialization, plays a key role in nurturing values and attitudes. Based on this notion, this paper looks at how parental corporal punishment in childhood and adolescence, as an expression of a strict, authoritarian upbringing, can influence punitiveness later in life. The results of a representative German sample using multivariate analyses show that individuals who were physically punished or abused by their parents during childhood or adolescence are more punitive than non-victims of parental violence. Based on these findings, the question of whether changing parenting styles might have implications at the macro-level of punitiveness is addressed. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.