Interparental conflict and youth problem behaviors: A meta-analysis

Cheryl Buehler, Christine Anthony, Ambika Krishnakumar, Gaye Stone, Jean Gerard, Sharon Pemberton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


We examined the proposition that interparental conflict is associated with internalizing and externalizing problems in youth ages 5 to 18, This examination was done by conducting a meta-anafysis of 348 statistical effects from 68 studies. The average effect size (d-value) was .32. There was considerable variability among effect sizes and this variability was associated with the average time since separation for separated/divorced parents, the socioeconomic status composition of the sample, and average parental education in the sample. The variability among effect sizes also was associated with the source of the informant used to assess interparental conflict and youth problem behaviors. Surprisingly, many of the other study characteristics we coded were not associated with variability in the effect sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-247
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Externalizing problems
  • Internalizing problems
  • Interparental conflict
  • Marital conflict
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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