Date of Award

5-22-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Degree Program

Psychology

Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Scaramella, Laura

Second Advisor

Weems, Carl

Third Advisor

Morris, Amanda

Abstract

The present study investigated the direct and interactional effects of neighborhood disadvantage and harsh parenting on concurrent assessments and change in externalizing and internalizing behavior in toddlerhood. The study included 55 mothers and their children; families completed in-home assessments when children were 2 and 3 years of age. Mothers' reports were used to measure neighborhood disadvantage and children's problem behaviors. Observer ratings derived from a clean up task were used to measure harsh parenting. Four hierarchical regression equations were computed to test each study hypothesis. Results indicated marginally significant effects of harsh parenting on externalizing problems at age 2. Surprisingly, harsh parenting and exposure to neighborhood risk did not significantly predict increases in externalizing behavior problems from age 2 to 3. Harsh parenting was marginally related to children's internalizing problems under conditions of high levels of neighborhood disadvantage and predicted increases in internalizing over time. The theoretical implications of the results are discussed.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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