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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Harsh parenting behaviors have been shown to predict internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children. These symptoms of psychopathology can persist into adolescence, which can negatively impact social, academic, and emotional functioning. Most studies, however, focus on between-person differences in average harsh parenting, rather than within-person changes in harsh parenting over time. This variability in harsh parenting has a potentially unique impact on the development of adolescent psychopathology. The present study aims to understand if child/adolescent-perceived variability in harsh parenting over time (intraindividual variability; IIV) predicts higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in mid-adolescence, while controlling for average levels of harsh parenting. IIV in child/adolescent-perceived harsh parenting was quantified using the coefficient of variation. Path analysis results indicated that IIV in child-perceived harsh parenting from ages 8-14 was a reliable construct, rather than random error. Further, more IIV in child-perceived mother harsh parenting predicted higher externalizing, but not internalizing, symptoms in adolescence (at age 15). Results were replicated using Residual Dynamic Structural Equation Modeling (RDSEM), a new method that models variability around one’s predicted slope within the model. Implications of this work include a novel way to conceptualize and measure aspects of the parent-child/adolescent relationship that predict individual differences in symptoms of psychopathology in mid-adolescence.


First Advisor

Kirby Deater-Deckard, PhD

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.