Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Tammy Allen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ellis Gesten, Ph.D.

Keywords

parents, children, psychological symptoms, interparental conflict, gender

Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine how mothers and fathers view children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. More specifically, the relationship between certain factors, such as parental psychological symptoms, levels of interparental conflict, characteristics of the behaviors, and discrepancies in mothers' and fathers' ratings of behavior problems were studied in more depth. Using a between subjects, experimental design, mothers and fathers were randomly assigned to view a videotape and rate the behavior of a male or female child acting in either an internalizing, externalizing, or non-clinical manner. Results showed that there were no differences between mothers' and fathers' ratings of the videos and the parents' own psychological symptoms and interparental conflict were not associated with higher ratings of the child in the videos. However, main effects were found for the type of video that the participant watched and the gender of the child in the video. In addition, interactions between the type of video and the gender of the child in the video were found for ratings on the Anxious-Depressed, Withdrawn-Depressed, and Aggressive Behavior subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). In order to explain the present findings, level of contact with children, child socialization, and gender roles were explored in further depth.

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