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Longitudinal Interrelations between Dyadic Coping and Coparenting Conflict in Couples


Zemp, Martina; Milek, Anne; Cummings, E Mark; Bodenmann, Guy (2017). Longitudinal Interrelations between Dyadic Coping and Coparenting Conflict in Couples. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(8):2276-2290.

Abstract

During the past few decades, research has increasingly addressed the associations between the interparental relationship and coparenting. However, limited headway has been made to systematically examine the longitudinal and bidirectional effects in this link. In the present study we tested whether change in couples’ dyadic coping predicted the trajectory of coparenting conflict over 1 year, or the reciprocal pathway, drawing data from a RCT intervention study in 150 parental couples. Couples were randomly assigned to (1) a couple-focused program (CCET), (2) a parenting training (Triple P), or (3) an untreated control group. The parents’ perceptions of their dyadic coping skills and coparenting conflict were assessed by means of questionnaires 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after completion of the treatment, at 6-month, and at 1-year follow-up. Results indicated that for the total sample, independent of treatment, increase in mothers’, but not fathers’, reports of dyadic coping from pre- to post-assessment predicted their own decrease in coparenting conflict over time, after controlling for both partners’ baseline levels, average age of children per family, and problematic behavior of one target child reported by parents. In contrast, decrease in coparenting conflict from pre- to post-assessment was not related with the trajectory of dyadic coping. This pattern of findings suggests that enhancement of dyadic coping skills in parents may be a promising means to promote the parents’ intimate relationship and, as a result, their supportive coparenting.

Abstract

During the past few decades, research has increasingly addressed the associations between the interparental relationship and coparenting. However, limited headway has been made to systematically examine the longitudinal and bidirectional effects in this link. In the present study we tested whether change in couples’ dyadic coping predicted the trajectory of coparenting conflict over 1 year, or the reciprocal pathway, drawing data from a RCT intervention study in 150 parental couples. Couples were randomly assigned to (1) a couple-focused program (CCET), (2) a parenting training (Triple P), or (3) an untreated control group. The parents’ perceptions of their dyadic coping skills and coparenting conflict were assessed by means of questionnaires 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after completion of the treatment, at 6-month, and at 1-year follow-up. Results indicated that for the total sample, independent of treatment, increase in mothers’, but not fathers’, reports of dyadic coping from pre- to post-assessment predicted their own decrease in coparenting conflict over time, after controlling for both partners’ baseline levels, average age of children per family, and problematic behavior of one target child reported by parents. In contrast, decrease in coparenting conflict from pre- to post-assessment was not related with the trajectory of dyadic coping. This pattern of findings suggests that enhancement of dyadic coping skills in parents may be a promising means to promote the parents’ intimate relationship and, as a result, their supportive coparenting.

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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
Date:2017
Deposited On:10 May 2017 08:18
Last Modified:18 Jul 2017 01:02
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1062-1024
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-017-0742-4

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