Youth perceptions of interparental conflict, ineffective parenting, and youth problem behaviors in European-American and African-American families

Ambika Krishnakumar, Cheryl Buehler, Brian K. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the spillover of youth perceptions of interparental conflict (IPC) into ineffective parenting and youth problem behaviors in a sample of 542 European-American (EA) and 150 African-American (AA) youth. Data were collected from youth aged 10 through 18 years using a school-based survey. The findings indicated that IPC was associated positively with youth problem behaviors in both European-American and African-American samples. For EA families, IPC was linked with youth externalizing problem behaviors through lower levels of parental monitoring, maternal acceptance, and higher levels of parent-youth conflict, and with internalizing problem behaviors through higher levels of maternal psychological control and parent-youth conflict. Although IPC was associated with higher levels of parent-youth conflict and maternal psychological control and lower levels of parental monitoring in AA families, the spillover model received minimal support because parenting measures were not associated systematically with youth problem behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-260
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003



  • Ethnicity
  • Interparental conflict
  • Marital conflict
  • Parenting behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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