Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Psychology (Psy.D.)



First Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Second Advisor

Lauren Moskowitz

Third Advisor

Imad Zaheer


Raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder places tremendous stress on parents, which can interfere with their parenting skills more than the stress of raising a typically developing child. Parents’ levels of emotions, irrational and rational beliefs, self-compassion, psychological flexibility and overreactive and lax parenting discipline style were analyzed. Two hundred and eighty-five parents of children and adolescents aged 6-18 completed several self-report measures. Results indicated that there were significant correlations between parents’ irrational beliefs, self-compassion, psychological flexibility, and negative emotions in both the clinical and non-clinical groups. Further, parents of ADHD youth reported experiencing less psychological flexibility and less self-compassion than reported by parents in the nonclinical group. Regression analyses indicated that parents’ irrational beliefs and parents’ psychological flexibility were a significant predictor of frequency of parents’ negative emotions. Also, parents who reported greater negative emotions and less psychological flexibility were more likely to utilize an overreactive discipline style. These findings highlight specific variables to target in treatment that will allow parents to experience less stress and negative emotions and better learn and implement the best parenting skills to help their ADHD children. Interventions should focus on the influential role psychological flexibility plays in reducing parents’ engagement in negative parenting practices and the overall experience of negative emotions in the context of parenting.

Included in

Psychology Commons