This study examined associations between parenting behaviors and school performance in children oversampled for externalizing behavior problems. Participants were 147 mothers (Mage = 36.46 years, SD = 5.66) and 110 fathers (Mage = 39.31 SD = 6.26) of 148 children (Mage = 9.64 years, SD = 1.59). The majority of children (83.7%) met diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and/or oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Ratings of maternal and paternal effective control and emotional responsiveness were collected, and standardized achievement scores, teacher ratings of disruptive classroom behavior, and teacher ratings of student–teacher and student–peer relationships were used as indicators of school performance. Associations of medium size emerged between maternal parenting and school performance domains. In contrast, very few associations between paternal variables were demonstrated, with the exception of paternal reduction of child emotion being robustly associated with school performance variables. Exploratory analyses demonstrated that paternal positive involvement mitigated the negative effects of dysfunctional maternal behavior on spelling achievement and peer functioning. These findings point to the importance of considering parent functioning in the school performance of children with externalizing problems. Attention to addressing parenting difficulties common to many children with externalizing behavior problems may help to promote adaptive school functioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology