Child Involvement in Interparental Conflict and Child Adjustment Problems: A Longitudinal Study of Violent Families
Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 5/2014Log in om toegang te krijgen
This study examined whether child involvement in interparental conflict predicts child externalizing and internalizing problems in violent families. Participants were 119 families (mothers and children) recruited from domestic violence shelters. One child between the ages of 7 and 10 years in each family (50 female, 69 male) completed measures of involvement in their parents’ conflicts, externalizing problems, and internalizing problems. Mothers completed measures of child externalizing and internalizing problems, and physical intimate partner violence. Measures were completed at three assessments, spaced 6 months apart. Results indicated that children’s involvement in their parents’ conflicts was positively associated with child adjustment problems. These associations emerged in between-subjects and within-subjects analyses, and for child externalizing as well as internalizing problems, even after controlling for the influence of physical intimate partner violence. In addition, child involvement in parental conflicts predicted later child reports of externalizing problems, but child reports of externalizing problems did not predict later involvement in parental conflicts. These findings highlight the importance of considering children’s involvement in their parents’ conflicts in theory and clinical work pertaining to high-conflict families.