Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 148 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Allen C Israel

Committee Members

Elana Gordis, Jeffrey Wittmann, Melissa Doyle


Contextual Stress, Economic Pressure, Family Stability, Parental Psychopathology, Parenting, Stress (Psychology), Parents

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


The present investigation seeks to examine relationships among predictors of three parenting constructs: parental discipline, monitoring and warmth. Specifically, the current investigation examines the relationship between a broad, continuous measure of parental psychosocial adjustment and these parenting constructs, and also the influence of two contextual stressors, family life changes and family economic pressure on this relationship. It was hypothesized that parental psychosocial adjustment and the contextual stress constructs would be predictive of the parenting constructs, such that with greater psychosocial adjustment problems and/or greater contextual stressors, quality of parenting would decline. Additionally, a moderation model was proposed in which it was hypothesized that an interaction between parental psychosocial adjustment and contextual stress would uniquely predict the parenting constructs. Participants in the current study were 152 parents of children between the ages of 5- and 12-years of age. Participants completed an Internet-based survey including a demographics questionnaire and measures of parenting, family life changes, economic pressure, and their psychosocial adjustment. Bivariate correlations were used to assess associations between variables. The proposed moderation model was evaluated using hierarchical product term multiple regression analyses. Results indicate support for the use of a broad index of psychosocial adjustment in a non-clinical sample, as it was predictive of both the contextual stress constructs and four out of five parenting constructs. Significant associations were found between contextual stress and parenting constructs, as well as amongst the parenting constructs. Analyses testing the proposed moderation model were non-significant, but provided preliminary support for moderation models predicting parental lax discipline and parental positive involvement. The results suggest that the relationship between parental psychosocial adjustment and parenting constructs is significant at low levels of contextual stress, but not at high levels of contextual stress. Support also was found for the use of the economic pressure construct as a more sensitive index of family financial concerns, than traditional indicators of socioeconomic status. Results are discussed in terms of implications and limitations of the current study and potential directions for future research.