Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 101-121

First online:

Family-of-Origin Predictors of Hostile Conflict in Early Marriage*

  • Glade L. TophamAffiliated withHuman Development and Family Science, Oklahoma State University Email author 
  • , Jeffry H. LarsonAffiliated withMarriage and Family Therapy, Brigham Young University
  • , Thomas B. HolmanAffiliated withMarriage Family and Human Development, Brigham Young University

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This study used data from 367 married couples to examine the relationship between select family-of-origin variables measured during engagement and hostile marital conflict measured 4–7 years later. Each spouse completed family-of-origin measures from the PREParation for Marriage questionnaire during their engagement. Four to seven years later, they completed a measure of hostile marital conflict involving insults, name calling, unwillingness to listen, and lack of emotional involvement. Wives’ mother–child relationship and the quality of parental discipline, as well as the husbands’ perceived quality of their parents’ marriage, were predictive of wives’ perception of hostile conflict in their marriages. Only wives’ quality of parental discipline was predictive of husbands’ perception of hostile marital conflict. Implications for premarital counseling and marital therapy are discussed.


hostile conflict family-of-origin marriage