Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Second Advisor

Laura Moskowitz

Third Advisor

Marlene Sotelo-Dynega


This study examined the associations between parent cognitions, parent emotions and parent distress tolerance and overreactive or lax discipline strategies. Parent behavior was hypothesized to be predicted by parent cognitions, emotions, and distress tolerance. Parent behavior was evaluated to be a predictor of adolescent behavior among parents of adolescents diagnosed with ADHD and an undiagnosed group. Participants included 174 parents of adolescents aged 10-17, who completed several self-report measures. Both clinical and non-clinical groups were identified by the presence or lack of a diagnosis of ADHD. Parents of adolescents with ADHD had significantly less distress tolerance compared to the non-clinical group. Correlation analyses found that there were significant correlations between parents’ irrational beliefs, negative emotions, and distress tolerance in both groups. Regression analyses indicated that parental negative emotion and parent anger did not predict parents’ use of overreactive discipline. Also, parents with a lower tolerance for distress were more likely to engage in overreactive discipline but not lax discipline. Due to the lack of relationship found between the variables, the proposed mediation model was not conducted. These findings further our understanding of factors that could impede effective parenting practices and our understanding of ADHD. They highlight distress tolerance as having an influential role in dysfunctional discipline and suggest that tolerating parent distress could improve parent effectiveness.