Date of Award


Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Sara Jordan

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Freddie Pastrana-Rivera

Committee Member 3 School



Exploration of the effects of maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on child externalizing behaviors were conducted in the proposed study. Subtypes of ACEs, such as household dysfunction and maltreatment, and their effects on child externalizing behaviors were also examined. Maternal ACEs have shown to have negative effects on their children through use of more negative parenting practices (NPP). However, the role of maternal difficulty in emotion regulation in the link between maternal ACEs, NPP, and child externalizing behaviors has not been previously shown in the literature. Thus, the present study aimed to examine these relations, specifically with NPP as a mediator in the relationship between maternal ACEs and child externalizing behaviors and expanding the literature by examining maternal difficulty in emotion regulation in the relation between maternal ACEs and NPP. Mothers of preschool children aged 3 to 5 (N = 96) were recruited through preschools and completed online measures that assessed their ACEs, negative parenting practices, difficulty in emotion regulation, and their child’s externalizing behaviors. The results found that mothers’ ACEs of household dysfunction significantly predicted child externalizing behaviors through less negative parenting practices. Furthermore, ACEs of maltreatment significantly predicted externalizing behaviors through difficulty in emotion regulation. Overall, the results suggest that certain subtypes of ACEs may have more effects on different behaviors and regulation strategies than others.



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