Reduction of ineffective parenting is promoted in parent training components of mental health treatment for children with externalizing behavior disorders, but minimal research has considered whether disciplinary style and lower abuse risk could also be associated with positive functioning in such children. The present study examined whether lower dysfunctional disciplinary style and child abuse risk was associated with children's positive self-concept, adaptive attributional style, and hopefulness. Recruited from children undergoing treatment for disruptive behavior disorders, 69 mother-child dyads participated, with maternal caregivers reporting on their disciplinary style and abuse potential and children reporting independently on their positive functioning (adaptive attributional style, overall self-concept, and hopelessness). Findings supported the hypothesized association, with lower scores on mothers' dysfunctional discipline style and abuse potential significantly predicting children's reported positive functioning. Future research directions pertaining to more adaptive functioning in children with behavior problems are discussed. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.