Marital Quality and Outcomes for Children and Adolescents: A Review of the Family Process Literature

05/01/2009

The overall purpose of this report is to show how marital quality, strengths, and/or interpersonal protective factors work to enhance the probability that children will do better among families where strengths are higher. Additionally, we reviewed the research about parental marital quality and child outcomes and showed how those two constructs are connected. Studies indicate that conflict and parents' ability to resolve that conflict affect children's levels of anxiety and self esteem, and these effects can carry over into adulthood. The quality of the parental relationship often spills over into an adult's parenting behaviors, creating a second source of strength or tension in the family. Furthermore, negative effects of parental discord are found for both boys and girls. [51 PDF pages]

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