Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Linda Webster

First Committee Member

Justin Low

Second Committee Member

Christina Siller


This study focuses on the effect that attachment status and negative alliances within the family has on disruptive behavior ratings and on the closeness or conflict a child feels with their teacher and the teacher’s subsequent ratings of the severity of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Structural equation modeling was used to determine the impact attachment status, alliances within the family, and disruptive behavior had on the closeness or conflict a teacher felt with their student and the subsequent ratings of the child’s oppositional behavior.

Negative alliance in the family was not a strong predictor of a child’s disruptive behavior or Oppositional behavior in the classroom. However, the closeness or conflict that a teacher feels with a student was a stronger predictor of a child’s negative behavior. This indicates that when the teacher feels more closeness to the child, the child’s behavior is rated as less disruptive, and as conflict increases, teachers rate the child’s behavior as more disruptive. This study provides further evidence that a child’s behavior is shaped by a multitude of factors throughout their childhood including their attachment with their caregiver in their first years of development, their experience with negative alliances in the family, and their relationship with their teacher.





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