Emily Morse


Over 50% of mental disorders have an onset in childhood, and mental health issues during adolescence impact adult psychological, social, and occupational functioning. Parents serve as the primary gatekeepers to child mental health resources, and this research discussed factors that influence parental help seeking, and developed a manualized psychoeducational program for parents was with the aim of addressing barriers. The program was developed based on the need for evidence-supported school-based programs that target parental knowledge, competence, and access to community resources while simultaneously decreasing stigma toward children with mental health difficulties. A quantitative pilot study was conducted as a means to examine change in parent perception of knowledge of internalizing behaviors in youth before and after receiving the preventative program. The researchers hypothesized that parent perception of their knowledge post-presentation would be negative correlated with parental age, and positively correlated with education and household income. Bivariate correlations indicated that parent age, ethnicity, sex, and highest level of education were not significantly associated with perceived knowledge of internalizing behaviors post-presentation. Parental income was inversely correlated with parental perception of knowledge of internalizing behaviors as well as coping with feelings. The implications for program development, including the possibility of adding manual versions based on parental education level were considered, and study limitations were discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Parents of mentally ill children -- Services for; Mentally ill children -- Care; Mental health services

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gavazza, Judy Ho;