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Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 5/2014

01-07-2014

Child Involvement in Interparental Conflict and Child Adjustment Problems: A Longitudinal Study of Violent Families

Auteurs: Ernest N. Jouriles, David Rosenfield, Renee McDonald, Victoria Mueller

Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 5/2014

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Abstract

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.
Voetnoten
1
Intimate partner violence (IPV) and interparental conflict (IPC) are conceptualized as different, but overlapping, constructs. Acts of IPV (e.g., push, slap, hit with a fist) sometimes occur during IPC, but IPC often does not include any IPV.
 
2
Scores for all but two of the study measures (children’s report of their externalizing problems and IPV) were normally distributed. Specifically, children’s report of externalizing problems was positively skewed (skewness = 1.12), as was our control variable, IPV (skewness = 1.89). In addition, examining the histograms of each variable indicated that none of the distributions had outliers (i.e., no raw scores greater than three SDs from the mean), with the exception of IPV, which had one outlier. As a result, in the statistics reported in this paper, we used robust standard errors to determine the significance of all of our regression coefficients (they are robust to violations of multivariate normality including the presence of skewness [Singer and Willett 2003]). To be conservative, we performed additional analyses in which we log-transformed the scores on the two skewed measures. The log transformations reduced skewness below 0.256, and the outlier on IPV was no longer an outlier when the scale was transformed. We then repeated all of the analyses from the beginning, including child sex and age as covariates (but dropping each if it was not significant). The results of the analyses using the log-transformed variables mirrored those of the analyses using the raw variables.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Child Involvement in Interparental Conflict and Child Adjustment Problems: A Longitudinal Study of Violent Families
Auteurs
Ernest N. Jouriles
David Rosenfield
Renee McDonald
Victoria Mueller
Publicatiedatum
01-07-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology / Uitgave 5/2014
Print ISSN: 2730-7166
Elektronisch ISSN: 2730-7174
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9821-1