Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Pittman, Laura D.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of Psychology

LCSH

Developmental psychology||Social psychology||Parent and child--Psychological aspects--Research||Father and child--Psychological aspects--Research||Child rearing--Psychological aspects--Research||Child psychology--Research||Internalization--Research

Abstract

Prior studies evaluating associations between parent and child characteristics have focused largely on mother-child, but not father-child, dyadic relationships. Theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that research including fathers is needed because knowledge about how maternal, paternal, and child characteristics may be interrelated is lacking and there is theoretical work suggesting that paternal behavior may be more sensitive to interpersonal factors than maternal behavior. These gaps in the literature were addressed in the present study through evaluation of hybrid actor-partner interdependence models in which maternal, paternal, and child characteristics were included. Specifically, maternal and paternal harsh/negative behavior were evaluated as mediators of associations between maternal and paternal negative affect and child outcomes (i.e., internalizing problems and externalizing problems). Furthermore, maternal and paternal harsh/negative behavior were evaluated as mediators of associations between maternal and paternal relationship satisfaction and child outcomes. The final sample included 103 families characterized by a mother, father, and their 8- to 12-year-old child. Results indicated that maternal and paternal harsh/negative parenting behavior partially mediated the association between maternal negative affect and child internalizing problems. Maternal harsh/negative behavior also partially mediated the association between maternal negative affect and child externalizing problems. Lastly, paternal harsh/negative behavior partially mediated the association between maternal relationship satisfaction and child internalizing problems. These results do not provide support for the hypothesis that paternal behavior is more sensitive to interpersonal factors than maternal behavior. Rather, results indicate that both maternal and paternal behaviors may be susceptible to interpersonal factors. Such results highlight the importance of theoretical and empirical work incorporating characteristics of mothers, fathers, and children in family psychology research. Moreover, results highlight the importance of targeting maternal negative affect in clinical intervention given its direct and indirect associations with internalizing and externalizing problems in children.

Comments

Advisors: Laura D. Pittman.||Committee members: Larissa K. Barber; Julie L. Crouch; Nina S. Mounts; Bradford H. Pillow; Karen J. White.

Extent

140 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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