Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Heather Janisse, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Jamie Lawler, PhD

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, PhD


The purpose of this study is to further examine the multifaceted relationship between parenting, neighborhood characteristics, and child disruptive behavior. Examining data from a low-income, African American preschool sample, this study investigated how self-reported neighborhood characteristics and observed parenting behaviors uniquely predicted observed disruptive behavior in children. Findings supported the strong relationship between parenting behaviors and child disruptive behavior where parenting sensitivity and engagement were predictive of fewer child disruptive behaviors while verbal and physical parenting interference and intrusiveness was predictive of greater disruptive child behavior. Neighborhood characteristics did not directly relate to parenting or child behaviors. However, neighborhood characteristics uniquely interacted with parenting behaviors and predicted varying levels of child disruptive behavior. Specifically, within disadvantaged neighborhoods, parenting behaviors were a stronger predictor of child disruptive behavior compared to more advantaged neighborhoods. Few studies have examined this complex relationship between neighborhood, parenting, and child behavior with the self - report and observational measures that were utilized in this study. Furthermore, few studies have examined this relationship within such a high-risk, preschool sample.