Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



High parental stress and child disruptive behaviors tend to coexist. Furthermore, parental negative talk towards children cam impair child functioning later in life. In the present study, we sought to determine whether parental negative talk was a mediating variable between parenting stress and child disruptive behaviors. Fifty-two parent-child dyads from Eastern Kentucky participated in an analog Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) behavioral observation and parents were given self-report measures for parenting stress and child disruptive behaviors.

Bivariate and multiple regression analyses were used to predict variance in child disruptive behaviors based on parenting stress with parental negative talk as a mediating variable. Bivariate regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between parenting stress and child disruptive behaviors, t(1, 50)= 4.646, p < .000, but multiple regression analysis did not support mediation by parental negative talk in this relationship, t(2,46)= 1.941, p < .058. Findings supported the hypothesis that increased levels of parenting stress are related to increased levels of child disruptive behaviors, but findings did not support the hypothesis that parental negative talk during Parent Led Play mediates between parenting stress and child disruptive behaviors.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Timothy Thornberry, Ph.D.


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Child Psychology | Education | Other Psychology