Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Stuart Badner, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Steven Godin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Adnan Zawawi, M.D.


This study focused on the relationship between a caregiver's problem solving skills, their perceived quality of life, their family's adjustment to their child's disability, and the potential for mediation of those relationships by the child's behavior. A total of 111 parents completed the Social Problem Solving Skills Inventory-Revised, short form (SPSI-R:S), the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment, brief version (WHOQOL-BREF), the Family Impact of Childhood Disability Scale (FlCD), the Nisonger Child Behavior rating Form (NCBRF) and a demographics questionnaire. Analyses of the data by Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient identified significant correlations between scores on the problem orientation components of the SPSI-R:S) and quality of life (QOL) scores on the WHOQOL-BREF domains. Scores in all four domains (psychological, social, environmental, and physical) demonstrated positive correlation with Positive Problem Orientation (PPO), and negative correlation with Negative Problem Orientation (NPO). Of the problem solving styles, scores on both Rational Problem Solving (RPS) and Impulsive/Careless Style (ICS) demonstrated small correlations (positive and negative, respectively) with scores on only one - the psychological - domain of the WHOQOL-BREF. Scores on Avoidant Style (AS) were negatively correlated with three of the four WHOQOL-BREF domains: physical, psychological, and environmental. There were no significant correlations between problem orientations and scores on the FICD. Of the problem solving style scores, only Impulsive/Careless style (ICS) scores were correlated with FICD (positive subscale scores, in the negative direction). There were no correlations between any problem solving scores (orientation or style) and negative subscale scores of the FICD. There was no mediation by the child's behavior, as measured by scores on the NCBRF, in any of the correlations found. Scores on the Problem Behavior scale of the NCBRF were indeed correlated with QOL scores, but were independent of the other correlations. Problem-solving interventions may contribute to an increase of quality of life in parents of children with developmental disability.