Date of Award


Degree Name

School Psychology


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Stephen O’Keefe

Second Advisor

Fred Krieg

Third Advisor

Ray Haning


This research investigated the level of parental conflict as a contributor to children’s behavioral difficulties up to one year after parental separation. Participants were parents who had been court ordered to attend the parent education class sponsored by the Kanawha County Family Court in Charleston, West Virginia. The Conflict Tactics Scale 2 (CTS2) was used to identify marital conflict and the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist/6-18 (CBCL) parent report was used to determine childhood behavior problems. Correlation and multiple linear regression analysis found that children who were traumatized by domestic violence suffered from anxiety, depression, withdrawal symptoms, attention problems, somatic complaints, rule-breaking behavior, aggressive behavior, thought problems, social problems, internalizing behavior problems and externalizing behavior problems. Children from low conflict homes also demonstrated symptoms of anxiety and depression. Girls demonstrated more attention problems and more symptoms of anxiety and depression than boys.


Children of divorced parents - Behavior.

Children of divorced parents - Mental health.

Kanawha County Family Court (W. Va.)