This study examines the relationship between parental personal mastery, parents' depressive symptoms and children's internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors. Respondents in this study included 282 four- year old children randomly sampled from classrooms in public sponsored pre-k programs and their parents who participated in the National Center for Early Development and Learning (NCEDL) study of pre-k quality. Personal mastery was measured using Pearlin and Schoole's (1978) Personal Mastery Scale and depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors were measured using the Hightower Teacher-Child Rating Scale. It was expected that children of parents who displayed depressive symptoms and low personal mastery would exhibit a higher level of internalizing and externalizing problems than their peers. No support was found for a relation between parental depression and child outcomes. However, children of parents reporting high parental mastery exhibited fewer behavioral problems than their peers. This study underscores the importance of parental beliefs and suggests the value of including modules on personal mastery in programs to train parents to deal with child behavior problems.