Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Scaramella, Laura

Second Advisor

Rubens, Sonia

Third Advisor

Laird, Robert


This study investigated the impact of parenting and children’s self-control on children’s externalizing behavior problems among 167 predominantly African-American mothers and their 2-year-old children. Two hypotheses were considered based on two distinct theoretical origins of self-control. First, consistent with a behavioral perspective, exposure to positive parenting was hypothesized to indirectly affect externalizing behaviors through children’s self-control; that is, children’s self-control was expected to mediate the association between positive parenting and externalizing behaviors. Second, consistent with a temperamental perspective, self-control was expected to moderate the impact of positive parenting on levels of children’s externalizing behaviors such that only children with a propensity towards low self-control benefited from positive parenting. Results were not consistent with the mediational hypothesis and provided limited support for the moderational hypothesis. That is, only for children with characteristically low self-control was exposure to more positive parenting associated with fewer externalizing behavior problems, as rated by teachers, one year later.


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.