Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Ron Prinz


Both parenting style and parents’ sense of their own parenting self-efficacy (PSE) have been found to predict child behavior outcomes in young children. Parents who engage in lax or overreactive parenting practices or who lack confidence in their parenting abilities are more likely to have children who display disruptive and noncompliant behavior. Until now, very little research has examined whether an interaction exits between these two constructs in predicting child behavior outcomes. The current study looked to fill this gap and assess whether a significant moderation relationship exists between parents’ parenting style and PSE in predicting observed child behavior. A representative sample of (N=268) mother-child dyads was assessed using self-report measures of parenting style and PSE and coded data on observed child behavior from a lab-based interaction task. Results of the initial hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed no significant moderation or main effects for the predictors of interest in predicting observed child behavior. Subsequent analyses using parent report of child behavior as the criterion, however, revealed a significant moderation effect in which level of PSE was more predictive of child behavior when parents engaged lax parenting than when they were not lax. No significant interaction was found for overreactive parenting. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.


© 2015, Emily Noel Neger