Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Gretchen A. Gimpel
Parent cognitions, including parent attributions for and perceptions of children's behaviors , are related to negative parent-child interactions and have been hypothesized to negatively affect treatment outcome in parent training studies. Specifically, parents who attribute children's disruptive behaviors to internal, stable, uncontrollable, and global causes and believe that they are not personally responsible for their children's behavior are less likely to engage in positive interactions with their children and successfully manage child behavior. Additionally, parents who expect their children to demonstrate aversive behavior and perceive their children's neutral behaviors as aversive are less likely to engage in positive interactions with their children and successfully manage child behavior. Parent well-being and child behavior have been examined in relation to parent attributions and perceptions, with previous studies generally indicating that decreased parent well being and increased child behavior problems are associated with more negative parent attributions and perceptions. Though parent attributions and perceptions have been investigated in previous studies, there are gaps and inconsistencies within the literature. Specifically, previous studies have not consistently considered both maternal and paternal attributions for and perceptions of child and parent behaviors, and the relationship between parent-rated and researcher-rated child behaviors has not consistently been examined.
This study examined parent attributions and parent perceptions related to child and parent behaviors within the parent-child interactions of 25 mothers, 15 fathers, and their children. The results of this study provide support for relationships between parents' attributions and parent-reported child behavior problems and parent well being. Additionally, significant relationships were found between parent perceptions of parent and child behaviors and parent-reported child behavior problems and parent well being. Furthermore, this study identified differences in parent attributions and parent-child interactions between mothers and fathers, with mothers viewing themselves as more responsible for compliant and noncompliant child behaviors and mothers sharing both more positive and negative interactions with children than fathers . Conclusions and clinical implications of these findings are provided.
Ehrlick, Angela L. W., "Maternal and Paternal Attributions and Perceptions Related to Parent-Child Interactions" (2004). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 6186.
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