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Positivity and negativity in interparental conflict


Zemp, Martina; Bodenmann, Guy; Backes, Sabine; Sutter-Stickel, Dorothee; Bradbury, Thomas N (2016). Positivity and negativity in interparental conflict. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 75(4):167-173.

Abstract

Although children are known to be highly sensitive to interparental conflict, important questions remain regarding which specific combinations of positive and negative behaviors as well as verbal and nonverbal expressions are most predictive of children’s perceptions. In this pilot study, we examined observational data on interparental conflict as predictors of children’s reports of perceived threat and insecurity in 43 families. Fathers’ nonverbal negativity was strongly linked to children’s perceived threat and insecure family representations, but both parents’ nonverbal and mothers’ verbal positivity buffered its impact on children. Our findings support previous research findings that parents’ negativity may have less adverse effects on children when it takes place in a positive family climate.

Abstract

Although children are known to be highly sensitive to interparental conflict, important questions remain regarding which specific combinations of positive and negative behaviors as well as verbal and nonverbal expressions are most predictive of children’s perceptions. In this pilot study, we examined observational data on interparental conflict as predictors of children’s reports of perceived threat and insecurity in 43 families. Fathers’ nonverbal negativity was strongly linked to children’s perceived threat and insecure family representations, but both parents’ nonverbal and mothers’ verbal positivity buffered its impact on children. Our findings support previous research findings that parents’ negativity may have less adverse effects on children when it takes place in a positive family climate.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:23 Jan 2017 14:35
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 01:00
Publisher:Hogrefe Verlag
ISSN:1421-0185
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1024/1421-0185/a000182

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