The relationship of interparental conflict and global marital adjustment to aggression, anxiety, and immaturity in aggressive and nonclinic children

Mark R. Dadds*, Martine B. Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there is agreement that marital problems are associated either directly or indirectly with particular child behavior problems, there is disagreement about the types of marital conflict associated with these problems and the differential effects on boys and girls in clinic and nonclinic samples. We examined the relationships among mothers' ratings of marital adjustment, parenting disagreements, and three child problem factors (aggression, anxiety, and immaturity) after the child's age and family socioeconomic status were controlled. These relationships were compared with samples of boys and girls (3 to 8 years of age) from clinic and nonclinic populations, revealing that parenting disagreement predicted aggression in all groups and that both marital adjustment and parenting disagreement predicted anxiety in boys. Neither marital variable predicted immaturity. Possible reasons for the results (including methodological limitations of the present data) are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-567
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes

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