Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Herbert Exum, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Carrie Wilde, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Baggerly, Ph.D.


online therapy, parental acceptance, child-parent relationship therapy, filial therapy, family therapy, parental involvement


Children’s mental health is a topic of concern, not only in the escalating number of children who meet diagnostic criteria for disorders, but also for the practitioners desiring to treat them effectively. Parental involvement in treatment results in more favorable outcomes with longer treatment gains observed, thus reducing mental health issues.

An additional factor in children’s mental health is the effect of levels of parental acceptance toward the child. Parental acceptance is a positive outcome that has been observed in previous studies conducted with Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT).

There are many reported barriers to seeking treatment for mental health issues, including time, cost, distance, and access. Online therapies have been found to reduce or eliminate most barriers to treatment, and is a preferred format for certain populations. To date, however, there have been no studies conducted on whether CPRT is effective in increasing levels of parental acceptance in an online format.

Eight participants from around the world completed the ten-week CPRT training in an online format. Levels of parental acceptance were measured by the Porter Parental Acceptance Scale (Porter, 1954; PPAS) in self-reported pre- and post-treatment assessments. A perception survey was also conducted to assess participants’ perception of the process of an online parent training format, including benefits and challenges.

This mixed-methods study found that an online version of CPRT does significantly increase parental acceptance levels. Participants also reported positive perceptions of the online training format. Positive themes reported in the survey responses related to convenience, community, access, and user experience.