Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP)



First Advisor

Dr. Lori. J. Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Gabriel J. Ybarra

Third Advisor

Dr. Minor H. Chamblin


The current study evaluated relationships among children's cognitions following exposure to scripted conflictual interactions between adults. Thirty- five mother-child dyads were assessed using self-report measures, and continuous measures of behavioral and physiological distress (cardiac function, skin conductance). Four hypotheses were investigated: Exposure to conflict would be related to greater distress following the conflictual script; attributional errors would be related to greater distress; child distress would be positively correlated with parental conflict at home; maternal psychopathology would be positively related with distress responses to the stimulus. All hypotheses were found to be non-significant. Explanations for non-significance include the normative sample, the stimulus' conflict relevance and intensity, and the trend of higher psychopathology and life stressors in the non-conflictual group.