Marital conflict, parent-child relations, and youth maladjustment: A longitudinal investigation of spillover effects

Jean M. Gerard, Ambika Krishnakumar, Cheryl Buehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contemporaneous and longitudinal associations among marital conflict, parentchild relationship quality, and youth maladjustment were examined using data from the National Survey of Families and Households.Analyses were based on 551 married families with a child age 5 to 11 years at Wave 1. The concurrent association between marital conflict and youth externalizing problems at both waves was mediated completely at Wave 1 and partially at Wave 2 by harsh discipline and parent-youth conflict. The concurrent association between marital conflict and internalizing problems at both waves was mediated partially through parent-youth conflict. Longitudinal mediating effects were detected through stable marital conflict over 5 years and through its connection with parent-youth conflict. Findings delineate areas of specificity and stability in marital conflict processes as children transition from middle childhood through adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-975
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume27
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Keywords

  • Externalizing problems
  • Internalizing problems
  • Marital conflict
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Spillover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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