Amanda Ellis

Date Approved


Degree Type

Campus Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Carol Freedman-Doan, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Michelle Byrd, PhD

Committee Member

Alissa Huth-Bocks, PhD


There is considerable literature on the individual and interactive effects of childhood behavior and parental discipline on adolescent problem behavior. However, few studies have examined these relationships in older children and how these effects may operate across a longer time span of development. The purpose of the study was to examine the interactive effect of child behavior and maternal discipline in childhood and how their interaction impacts adolescent engagement in later problem behavior utilizing an existing longitudinal data set of low-risk, middle class parents and children (n = 551). Harsh discipline in childhood was found to be significantly positively related to child externalizing behavior and to significantly moderate the relationship between child externalizing behavior and school problem behavior in adolescence such that school problem behavior tends to be higher at higher levels of child externalizing behavior when harsh discipline is high but not low.