Interparental conflict styles and youth problem behaviors: A two-sample replication study

Cheryl Buehler, Ambika Krishnakumar, Gaye Stone, Christine Anthony, Sharon Pemberton, Jean Gerard, Brian K. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Divorce
  • Marital conflict
  • Problem behaviors
  • Youth adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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