We examine the association between interparental conflict and youth internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors. Youth perceptions of three interparental conflict variables are studied: frequency of disagreement, parents' use of an overt conflict style, and parents' use of a covert conflict style. Data are from two samples of youth from Tennessee and Utah. Interparental conflict variables account for over 20% of the variance in youth problem behaviors, and hostile conflict styles are more strongly associated with problem behavior than is the frequency of disagreement. The results are fairly consistent for sons and daughters, preadolescent and early adolescent youth, youth in nondivorced and divorced (mother-custody) families, poor and less-poor youth, and Mormon and non-Mormon youth.
- Marital conflict
- Problem behaviors
- Youth adjustment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)