Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Alissa Huth-Bocks, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

John Knapp, PhD

Committee Member

Carol Freedman-Doan, PhD


This study examined the longitudinal effects of the partner relationship quality on parenting behaviors and school-age children’s peer relationships. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) archival data were used to examine parenting behaviors as a mediator between the quality of the partner relationship and school-age children’s peer relationships. Maternal report was used to assess partner relationship quality when the child was 1 month old; an observed parent-child interaction task was used to measure maternal parenting behaviors when the child was 54 months old; and teacher and child report were used to assess children’s peer relationships during 5th grade. Maternal parenting behaviors partially mediated the association between partner quality and children’s negative outcomes with peers and fully mediated this association when partner change was controlled for. Mediation was not established for children’s positive outcomes with peers. Results are discussed in terms of the emotional security hypothesis and attachment theory.