Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


D. Bruce Carter


adolescents, corporal punishment, emotional aggression, externalizing, internalizing, parent aggression

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society


Parent aggression exists on a continuum with corporal punishment at one end and abuse at the other. There is still controversy as to whether any kind of parent aggression toward an adolescent contributes to externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Relative to what is known about parent aggression during childhood, much less is known about parent aggression toward adolescents from a systemic and developmental perspective. This study explored the stability and mutual influence of parent aggression and adolescent externalizing and internalizing behaviors. The study found that the constructs were stable over time, and that with this sample population, parental physical and emotional aggression co-occurred with internalizing and externalizing behaviors at both points in time. Neither form of parent aggression showed a longitudinal association with youth externalizing or internalizing behaviors. The current study found a mutual influence between parent aggression and youth maladaptive behaviors, thus adding to the growing but limited literature considering both directions of influence. Finally, the study found a temporal association between the quality of relationships with family at T1 and youth internalizing behaviors at T1 and T2, suggesting that family relationships remain important predictors of adolescent emotional wellbeing.


Open Access