Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Paulo Graziano

First Advisor's Committee Title

committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Daniel Bagner

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Joseph Raiker

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Andy Pham

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


parenting, early childhood, behavioral parent training, executive function, stress

Date of Defense



Behavioral parent training (BPT) interventions are the gold standard treatment for preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and have been shown to improve parenting, and therefore children’s behavior. However, treatment outcomes are dependent upon various child and parent factors. Less research has examined predictors of treatment response in preschoolers, including parental factors, which is important given the known benefits of early intervention.

This dissertation is comprised of three manuscripts focused on parent and child executive functioning (EF), and intervention outcomes for children with ADHD and their parents. Study I examined the extent to which individual differences in EF and emotion regulation (ER) were uniquely associated with preschoolers’ symptoms of ADHD prior to treatment. Findings suggest that as early as preschool, underlying deficits in EF and ER differentially relate to ADHD symptoms. The extent to which inattention relates to underlying ER and the association between EF and ER is also discussed. Implications include the importance of targeting these processes in intervention. The purpose of study II was to examine the additional benefit of an adaptive Cogmed working memory training (CWMT) to a social-emotional/self-regulation classroom curriculum for preschoolers with externalizing behavior problems (EBP). Children were randomly assigned to either adaptive CWMT, or non-adaptive CWMT. Findings suggest that while children in both groups improved on all measures (d’s = .23-.86), CWMT does not provide any incremental benefits to children’s EF, behavior, or academics when implemented within a comprehensive behavioral modification intervention. Lastly, the purpose of study III was to longitudinally examine 1) the malleability of stress, parental executive functioning (EF), and parenting skills across an early BPT intervention, 2) the association between stress and parental EF and parenting skills, and 3) the extent to which parental stress moderates the association between parental EF and parenting skills for parents of children with ADHD. Findings from this study suggest that parental stress, parenting skills, and parental EF are malleable over the course of BPT (d’s = |.33-2.07|).

Combined, this body of work contributes to the existing literature on BPT by examining both child and parent factors across intervention, which is critical for optimizing intervention outcomes.





Previously Published In

Landis, T. D., Garcia, A. M., Hart, K. C., & Graziano, P. A. (2021). Differentiating symptoms of ADHD in preschoolers: the role of emotion regulation and executive function. Journal of Attention Disorders, 25(9), 1260-1271.

Landis, T. D., Hart, K. C., & Graziano, P. A. (2019). Targeting self-regulation and academic functioning among preschoolers with behavior problems: Are there incremental benefits to including cognitive training as part of a classroom curriculum?. Child Neuropsychology, 25(5), 688-704.



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