Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Jeffrey Burke, Ph.D., Stephanie Milan, Ph.D., Linda Halgunseth, Ph.D

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Objective.Disruptive behaviors are bidirectionally associated with low-quality parent-school interactions (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995). However, Non-White children are more likely to be identified by teachers as behaviorally disruptive (Epstein et al., 2005), more likely to have low-quality parent-school interactions (Serpell & Mashburn, 2012), and more likely to be engaged in the justice system (Hockenberry & Puzzanchera, 2013).Considering that non-White parents may interact with schools and teachers differently than White parents (Mariñez-Lona & Quintana, 2009), it is unclear to what extent race might influence the predictive relationship between aspects of parent-school interactions and disruptive behavior problems. Thus, this study will examine how race moderates the reciprocal effects of parent-school interactions on Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) over time. Method. As part of a study on parent help-seeking behaviors, data was collected annually for three years from 75 parents recruited at their child’s first contact with the juvenile court. Regression models assessed the reciprocal relationship between four aspects of parent-school interactions (Engagement, Relationship, Correspondence, and Endorsement) on ODD symptoms over time. Tests of moderation assessed differences in the strength of these relationships between non-White and White children. Results. After controlling for demographic variables and autoregressive effects, both Engagement and Correspondence predicted increasing ODD symptoms. Race significantly moderated the predictive relationship for Engagement and Relationship on ODD symptoms, as well as ODD symptoms on Relationship. Conclusions: This study provides some evidence that parent-school interactions are associated with future behavioral symptoms, and that these relationships differ by race. These results call for greater attention to how schools are engaging with non-White families, particularly those that have come into contact with the justice system.

Major Advisor

Jeffrey Burke, Ph.D.