Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marianna Linz

Second Advisor

Keith Beard

Third Advisor

Paige Muellerleile


Although the literature has paid significant attention to treatments addressing externalizing behavior disorders, it has given less attention to the role of parental factors on treatment outcomes. This study used a qualitative methodology consisting of thirty semi-structured interviews with parents whose children had been in treatment for externalizing behavior problems for at least a month to examine how variations in parental sense of competence and self-efficacy are related to the ways in which parents describe their child’s behaviors, their response to behaviors, their investment in treatment, and their attribution of treatment outcomes. Thematic differences between participants with high parental sense of competence and self-efficacy and those who scored low on these measures emerged in parental response to behaviors, use of resources, and investment in working to address behavior problems. Implications for future research will be discussed.


Behavior disorders in children - Treatment.

Parents of children with disabilities.