Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

William F Chaplin

Second Advisor

Meredith Owens


The purpose of this research is to analyze longitudinal outcome data obtained about children and adolescents progress and improvement over the course of psychotherapy at a community based mental health training clinic. We used an analytic approach that allowed us to document both the average change and the individual variation in change. In addition, this research considers factors that contribute to our understanding of the variation around the overall trend of improvement including the types of symptoms (internalizing or externalizing) experienced by the child, the age and sex of the child, and the informant (mother or child). Our research demonstrates two robust findings. First, there is a general trend of perceived improvement in symptoms for both children and adolescents over the course of psychotherapy. Second, when we compare mother report to adolescent self-report of psychopathology, we find that mothers see their adolescents as more distressed than the adolescents see themselves. However, these perceptions of change differ as a function of the sex and age of the client, symptom type, and informant. Our findings have implications for treatment considerations as well as how the nature of the mother-child relationship impacts child behavior and mother-child perceptions of psychopathology.