Date of Conferral







Dr. Rhonda Bohs


AbstractAccording to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, factors such as parental stress influence family functioning and affect children’s adaptive development. This quantitative study was conducted to better understand the association of parental stress coping skills with two dependent measures: the grades and behavioral conduct of middle-school students. Sixty-six parent/guardians completed the Coping Skills Assessment 2nd Revision (COSA R2), an assessment of parental stress coping skills and a brief questionnaire to collect data on their middle-school-aged children’s grades and conduct, along with demographic variables of race/ethnicity, age, family income level, number of children in the household, and partner status. No significant difference was found for grades based on COSA R2 scores; however, there was a significant interaction with parental age. When coping skills were low, the children of younger parents had lower average grades compared to older parents. When coping skills were high, the children of younger parents had higher average grades. The demographic covariate of age of guardian explained 13.5% of the variance in grades. While COSA R2 scores were significantly related to parental race, neither COSA R2 nor race of guardian was a significant predictor of conduct. The implications from this study provide evidence that future research is warranted considering factors that may be associated with parental stress, especially with a larger and more diverse participant pool. Thus, this study has implications for positive social change and future studies and adds to the existing body of knowledge regarding parental factors that affect middle school aged children’s grades and behavioral conduct.