We evaluated the effects of marital dissatisfaction on adolescent-perceived conflict in 435 families with and without a parental history of alcoholism. On average, family conflict decreased linearly as adolescents aged. Families with an alcoholic parent demonstrated higher adolescent-reported family conflict and this effect was partially mediated by higher mother- and father-reported marital dissatisfaction. Families with higher marital dissatisfaction had greater conflict when adolescents were young (based on fathers’ marital dissatisfaction) and as they aged (based on mother's marital dissatisfaction). Years in which mothers reported higher marital dissatisfaction than usual coincided with years in which adolescents reported greater family conflict. Results indicate that marital dissatisfaction has both within and between-family effects on adolescent perceptions of conflict.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience