Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)


College of Psychology

First Advisor

Jan Faust

Second Advisor

Christian DeLucia

Third Advisor

Scott Poland


Children, Divorce, High conflict, Interference, Outcomes, Parent


Parental interference in high conflict divorce cases continues to evoke much debate among mental health professionals in the forensic psychology field. Although over the past thirty years, some empirical studies have been conducted regarding the long-term psychological impact of adults that experienced parental interference as children, few studies have examined the impact that this phenomenon has on children during and immediately following divorce proceedings. The present study utilized an original data set that was collected with fifty-five families (e.g., mother, father, and oldest child) from de-identified reports completed by two private Court-appointed licensed clinical-forensic psychologists. The overarching purpose of the present study was to gain further insight into identifying the impact that parental interference had on the psychological functioning within the identified sample. Moreover, the first purpose of this paper sought to highlight the specific domains that children and adolescents are negatively affected by as a result of parental interference within the present sample. Overall, results yielded no significant differences between groups regarding reported (self, teacher, and parent report) elevations on BASC-2 outcomes for children and adolescents. However, the results of a step-wise regression analysis suggested that female children and adolescents were more likely to have mothers rate them highly on the anxiety scale of the BASC-2. Limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.

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