Winter 2023

ESRP 9000 Professor

David B. Ross, Ed.D.

ESRP 9001 Professor

David B. Ross, Ed.D.

Executive Summary

The impact of parent training on children’s externalizing behaviors: This strategic research project was designed to substantiate the importance of incorporating parent training in moderating their children’s externalizing behavior. Externalizing behavior is a pervasive problem that transcends both time and location. It impacts families, communities, and schools. The most common manifestations are oppositional defiance and conduct disorder. Children who struggle with externalizing behaviors are more likely to struggle with aggression, anxiety, substance abuse, mood disorders, and defiance in adulthood, which results in significant adverse impact on their families, communities, and society. Any improvement of externalizing behaviors is a benefit to the community. Externalizing behaviors are a common, potentially modifiable disrupter that is costly in terms of dollars and adverse individual, family, and societal impact.

Small gains in improvement could have significant downstream benefits to families, schools, and communities. When parents are provided with support to intervene on their child’s externalizing behavior, the child’s social emotional symptoms and conduct behaviors decrease. Parenting skills are recognized as an important determinant of children’s mental health and behavioral outcomes. Of the strategies analyzed that provide this support, parent training was chosen as the most impactful.

The strategy is bipartite, the first is to provide the location, resources and support for the parent training as well as childcare to unencumber parents by providing them with childcare and dinner in the most conducive environment. Murrell School is a highly specialized special day school that provides intensive services and support to students who have failed within the general education setting because of externalizing behaviors. An action plan was developed to increase parent participation by providing childcare and meals. The action plan includes acquisition of approval, resources, curriculum, and recruitment of parents and families. The success of the program will be based on measures of attendance, completion rate, and perceived effectiveness obtained through interviews.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education