Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 231–244

Young Children's Responding to Interparental Conflict: Associations with Marital Aggression and Child Adjustment


DOI: 10.1023/A:1015133827129

Cite this article as:
Martin, S.E. & Clements, M.L. Journal of Child and Family Studies (2002) 11: 231. doi:10.1023/A:1015133827129


We designed this study to examine children's self-reported and observed emotional and behavioral responding to marital conflict as a potential mechanism linking marital physical aggression (as reported by the parents) and children's behavioral adjustment (as reported by their preschool teachers). In a sample of 48 preschoolers, parental marital physical aggression was positively associated with children's observed dysregulated responding to interparental conflict and negatively associated with children's self-reported behavioral disruption. Marital aggression and children's self-reported responding to marital conflict predicted teacher-reported behavior problems, with both variables adding unique variance. Our findings suggested a potential pathway linking exposure to marital conflict, children's regulatory strategies, and children's behavioral adjustment outside the home.

marital conflictmarital aggressionpreschoolersbehavior problems

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorBrown University School of MedicineProvidence
  2. 2.School of PsychologyFuller Theological SeminaryPasadena