Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Emily Yowell

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Melanie Leuty

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Research and Administration


Given that there is a link between parenting practices and child developmental outcomes, it is important to explore the existence of variables that may influence the success of implementing parenting practices. Therefore, the current study aimed to understand how parental cognitions influence parenting practices by exploring the mediational influence of parenting stress. Parenting self-efficacy is an important cognitive variable to study as it has been related to positive parenting practices (Coleman & Karraker, 1997; Jones & Prinz, 2005) and considered a reliable predictor of parenting stress (Raikes & Thompson, 2005). Hardiness is also an important cognitive variable to examine as it is related to lower levels of psychological distress (Beasley, Thompson, & Davidson, 2002), and positively related to adjustment and well-being (Maddi, Brow, Khoshaba, & Vaitkus, 2006; Orr & Westman, 1990). While hardiness has not been directly linked to parenting practices, it has been negatively associated with stress in nonparent populations, therefore it is hypothesized that it may also be positively associated with parenting practices and negatively related to parenting stress. Given that there is some evidence that suggests that parenting stress serves as a mediator between parenting variables (i.e., social support and depressive symptomology) and parenting practices (Bonds, Gondoli, Sturge-Apple, & Salem, , 2002; Gerdes, Hoza, Arnold, Pelham, Swanson, Wigal,& Jenson ., 2007), the current study examined a model of parenting that explores the mediational role of parenting stress in the relationships between parental cognitions (parenting self-efficacy and hardiness) and parenting behaviors. Results demonstrated that parenting stress partially mediated the relationships between the parental cognitions, hardiness and parenting self-efficacy, and parenting practices. Also, results demonstrated that the mediation model significantly differed across parent gender as predicted.