Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Kristin Lindahl

Second Committee Member

Craig Marker

Third Committee Member

Jill Ehrenreich May

Fourth Committee Member

Neena Malik


This study evaluated the efficacy of a parent training and a family-based intervention targeting externalizing behavior in school-age boys. This study examined the impact of psychosocial treatments on family functioning, and investigates dimensions of family functioning as mechanisms of therapeutic change. A predominately Hispanic sample of 46 families were recruited as part of a larger research project. Study participants ranged in age from 7 to 12 years and exhibited significant behavioral difficulties related to either ADHD or oppositionality and defiance. Measures used to assess changes in child behavior and family functioning included the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, the Family Interaction Scale, and the System for Coding Interactions and Family Functioning. Clinically relevant and statistically significant improvement in child behavior problems and dimensions of family functioning were found at post-treatment. These findings are clinically important as they identify parent training and family therapy as efficacious in treatment both child behavior problems and family functioning.


Treatment; Externalizing Behavior; Family Cohesion; Family Conflict