Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Delores Smith

Committee Members

Huifang Tu, John Orme


The principal objectives of the study were to examine the concurrent and long-term effect of parenting style and its interaction with the ethnicity and gender on adolescent internalized distress in low income families. The data were from the first two waves of the Three City Study. Nine hundred and fifteen mothers from Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio reported their parenting behaviors on authoritative, harsh, permissive, and disengaged parenting; and their adolescent children responded to the Brief Symptom Inventory 18 to indicate their internalized distress. The results of the study indicated that disengaged and harsh parenting were significantly associated with adolescent concurrent internalized distress; however, authoritative and permissive parenting styles were no significantly associated with adolescent concurrent internalized distress. Except for harsh parenting, prior parenting style also failed to predict adolescent internalized distress. There was no significant interaction between parenting styles and ethnicity; however, the interaction between child gender and harsh parenting was a significant predictor of children’s psychological outcomes, such that gender moderated the association between harsh parenting and adolescent internalized distress.

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