A child's parents are the primary source of knowledge and learned behaviors for developing children, and the benefits or repercussions of certain parental practices can be long lasting. Although parenting practices affect behavioral outcomes for children, families tend to be diverse in their circumstances and needs. Research attempting to ascertain cause and effect relationships between parental influences and child behavior can be difficult due to the complex nature of family dynamics and the intricacies of real life. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is an appropriate method for this research as it is able to account for the complicated nature of child-parent relationships. Both Frequentist and Bayesian methods are used to estimate the effect of latent parental behavior variables on child aggression and anxiety in order to allow for comparison and contrast between the two statistical paradigms in the context of structural equation modeling. Estimates produced from both methods prove to be comparable, but subtle differences do exist in those coefficients and in the conclusions to which a researcher would arrive. Although model estimates between the two paradigms generally agree, they diverge in the model selection process. The mother's behaviors are estimated to be the most influential on child aggression, while the influence of the father, socio-economic status, parental involvement, and the relationship quality of the couple also prove to be significant in predicting child aggression.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Statistics



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




latent variables, manifest variables, structural equation modeling, Bayesian methods, Frequentist methods