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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Rachelle Hackett

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Anthony Urquiza


Maternal depression has a negative impact on child development and the parent-child relationship (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1999). The purpose of this study was to determine the treatment effectiveness of Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with mothers identified with high levels of depressive symptoms in comparison with mothers with low levels of depressive symptoms and their children with behavior problems. The treatment effectiveness of PCIT was measured by pre- to post-treatment changes in the quality of parent-child relationship and reductions in child behavior problems, maternal depression, and parental stress. Subjects were 23 mothers identified with low levels of depressive symptoms and 26 mothers identified with high levels of depressive symptoms and their children. Findings showed there were improvements at post-treatment for both groups in child behavior problems, the quality of the parent-child relationship, maternal depressive symptoms, and parent stress levels. Mothers in the high depressive symptoms group reported achieving greater treatment gains when compared to the mothers in the low symptom group.



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