A longitudinal study of interparental conflict, emotional and behavioral reactivity, and preschoolers' adjustment problems among low- income families

Erin M. Ingoldsby, Daniel S. Shaw, Elizabeth B. Owens, Emily Winslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers have begun to develop models that explain the processes by which interparental conflict impacts children's adjustment. The present study tested a model based on emotional security theory. The longitudinal relations among interparental conflict, boys' reactions to conflict, and internalizing and externalizing problems were examined in a sample of 129 mother-son dyads from low-income, 2-parent families from the time sons were age 2 to 5. Results indicated that children exposed to interparental conflict were more likely to have concurrent and later behavior problems and that patterns of interparental conflict across time made unique contributions in predicting later problems. Children's emotional reactivity in response to conflict had no direct relation to interparental conflict and only modest relations to behavior problems. However, interparental conflict and reactivity factors interacted to predict behavior problems at ages 3 1/2 and 5. Thus, some support was demonstrated for emotional reactivity as a moderator in the development of young children's behavior problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-356
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume27
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Social Adjustment
Family Conflict
Longitudinal Studies
Nuclear Family
Child Behavior
Mothers
Research Personnel
Problem Behavior

Keywords

  • Behavior problems
  • Interparental conflict
  • Reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

A longitudinal study of interparental conflict, emotional and behavioral reactivity, and preschoolers' adjustment problems among low- income families. / Ingoldsby, Erin M.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Owens, Elizabeth B.; Winslow, Emily.

In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Vol. 27, No. 5, 1999, p. 343-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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