An investigation of child and family factors predicting parental response to children's conduct problems

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology, Clinical


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Jackson Goodnight


Previous research suggests that parental concerns about offspring adjustment, if carefully elicited, predict future mental health problems among children who might otherwise appear to be at low risk for developmental problems. Many parents, however, either overestimate or underestimate the significance of their children's behavior problems. These findings indicate the importance of studying the source(s) of inaccuracies in parental concerns. To date, however, little research has considered familial, dispositional, and contextual factors that predict 1) whether or not a parent becomes concerned about their child's behavior problems, 2) whether or not a parent becomes concerned about their child's behavior above and beyond the presence of behavioral problems, and 3) whether parental concerns accurately reflect the severity of conduct problems. Results indicated that, when all factors were considered together with the exclusion of externalizing problems, sum of mother reported stress, child management behaviors, as well as SES were significant predictors of parental concern. However, only SES remained significant as a predictor of parental concern above and beyond the presence of externalizing problems. No interaction effects were significant in this study; thus, this study was not able to identify any factors that influenced the accuracy of concerns as they relate to severity of conduct problems.


Parents of problem children Longitudinal studies, Parenting Research, Child rearing Research, Behavioral assessment Research, Clinical Psychology, Parental efforts, parenting practices, conduct problems, externalizing behaviors, seeking services

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2017, author