Advertisement

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 2107–2119 | Cite as

Crossover Effects Among Parental Hostility and Parent–Child Relationships During the Preschool Period

  • Rebecca P. Newland
  • Lucia Ciciolla
  • Keith A. Crnic
Original Paper

Abstract

Parental hostility may have widespread effects across members of the family, whereby one parent’s hostility might disrupt the other parent’s ability to maintain a positive relationship with his or her children. The present study prospectively examined crossover effects of parental hostility on parent–child relationship quality in a sample of 210 families. At child ages 3, 4, and 5, mothers and fathers completed questionnaires assessing feelings of hostility. In addition, mother–child and father–child dyadic relationship quality were coded at each age during naturalistic home observations. Results from structural equation analyses indicated that mother and father hostility were relatively stable over the 2 years period. Further, results were consistent with notions of fathering vulnerability, such that the father–child relationship might be especially susceptible to parental hostility. Possible compensatory processes, wherein mothers may compensate for father hostility, were also explored. Child and parent gender add further complexity to the results, as the father–son relationship appears most susceptible to crossover effects of parental hostility, whereas the father–daughter relationship might be somewhat protected in the early childhood period. Findings from the current investigation highlight the need for broader perspectives on family functioning, considering influences across family subsystems and the effects of both parent and child gender.

Keywords

Parenting Parent–child relationships Hostility Fathering Crossover 

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Edn—text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  2. Bayley, N. (1993). Bayley scales of infant development. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Belsky, J., Crnic, K., & Gable, S. (1995). The determinants of coparenting in families with toddler boys: Spousal differences and daily hassles. Child Development, 66, 629–642.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belsky, J., Youngblade, L., Rovine, M., & Volling, B. (1991). Patterns of marital change and parent–child interaction. Journal of Marriage and Family, 53, 487–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bridewell, W. B., & Chang, E. C. (1997). Distinguishing between anxiety, depression, and hostility: Relations to anger-in, anger-out, and anger control. Personality and Individual Differences, 22, 587–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brody, G. H., Pellegrini, A. D., & Sigel, I. E. (1986). Marital quality and mother–child and father–child interactions with school-aged children. Developmental Psychology, 22, 291–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carrasco, M. A., Holgado, F. P., Rodríguez, M. A., & del Barrio, M. V. (2009). Concurrent and across-time relations between mother/father hostility and children’s aggression: A longitudinal study. Journal of Family Violence, 24, 213–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chang, L., Schwartz, D., Dodge, K. A., & McBridge-Chang, C. (2003). Harsh parenting in relation to child emotion regulation and aggression. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 598–606.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chaplin, T. M., Cole, P. M., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2005). Parental socialization of emotion expression: Gender differences and relations to child adjustment. Emotion, 5, 80–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collins, W. A., & Russell, G. (1991). Mother–child and father–child relationships in middle childhood and adolescence: A developmental analysis. Developmental Review, 11, 99–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cowan, P. A., Cowan, C. P., & Kerig, P. K. (1993). Mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters: Gender differences in family formation and parenting style. In P. A. Cowan (Ed.), Family, self, and society: Toward a new agenda for family research (pp. 165–195). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  12. Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (2002). Effects of marital conflict on children: Recent advances and emerging themes in process-oriented research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 31–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cummings, E. M., Davies, P. T., & Simpson, K. S. (1994). Marital conflict, gender, and children’s appraisals and coping efficacy as mediators of child adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 8, 141–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cummings, E. M., Merrilees, C. E., & George, M. W. (2010). Fathers, marriages, and families: Revisiting and updating the framework for fathering in family context. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 154–176). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Davies, P. T., & Lindsay, L. L. (2001). Does gender moderate the effects of marital conflict on children? In J. H. Grych & F. D. Fincham (Eds.), Interparental conflict and child development: Theory, research, and application (pp. 64–97). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deffenbacher, J. L. (1992). Trait anger: Theory, findings, and implications. In C. D. Speilberger & J. N. Butcher (Eds.), Advances in personality assessment (Vol. 9, pp. 177–202). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  17. Deffenbacher, J. L., Oetting, E. R., Thwaites, G. A., Lynch, R. S., Baker, D. A., Stark, R. S., et al. (1996). State-trait anger theory and the utility of the Trait Anger Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 131–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Derogatis, L. R. (1993). BSI Brief Symptom Inventory: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual. Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems.Google Scholar
  19. Derogatis, L. R., & Cleary, P. A. (1977). Confirmation of the dimensional structure of the SCL‐90: A study in construct validation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33, 981–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Derogatis, L. R., & Melisaratos, N. (1983). The Brief Symptom Inventory: An introductory report. Psychological Medicine, 13, 595-605.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Downey, G., Purdie, V., & Schaffer-Neitz, R. (1999). Anger transmission from mother to child: A comparison of mothers in chronic pain and well mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 61, 62–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Enders, C. K., & Bandalos, D. L. (2001). The relative performance of full information maximum likelihood estimation for missing data in structural equation models. Structural Equation Modeling, 8, 430–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Erel, O., & Burman, B. (1995). Interrelatedness of marital relations and parent–child relations: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 108–132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gerstein, E. D., Crnic, K. A., Blacher, J., & Baker, B. L. (2009). Resilience and the course of daily parenting stress in families of young children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research, 53, 981–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gordis, E. B., Margolin, G., & John, R. S. (1997). Marital aggression, observed parental hostility, and child behavior during triadic family interaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 76–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harold, G. T., Fincham, F. D., Osborne, L. N., & Conger, R. D. (1997). Mom and dad are at it again: Adolescent perceptions of marital conflict and adolescent psychological distress. Developmental Psychology, 33, 333–350.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoffman, C., Crnic, K. A., & Baker, J. K. (2006). Maternal depression and parenting: Implications for children’s emergent emotion regulation and behavioral functioning. Parenting: Science and Practice, 6, 271–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jacobvitz, D. B., & Bush, N. F. (1996). Reconstructions of family relationships: Parent–child alliances, personal distress, and self-esteem. Developmental Psychology, 32, 732–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kerig, P. K., Cowan, P. A., & Cowan, C. P. (1993). Marital quality and gender differences in parent–child interaction. Developmental Psychology, 29, 931–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kessler, R. C., McGonagle, K. A., Swartz, M., Blazer, D. G., & Nelson, C. B. (1993). Sex and depression in the National Comorbidity Survey I: Lifetime prevalence, chronicity and recurrence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 29, 85–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kitzmann, K. M. (2000). Effects of marital conflict on subsequent triadic family interactions and parenting. Developmental Psychology, 36, 3–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Krishnakumar, A., & Buehler, C. (2000). Interparental conflict and parenting behaviors: A meta-analytic review. Family Relations, 49, 25–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lamb, M. E., & Lewis, C. (2010). The development and significance of father–child relationships in two-parent families. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 94–153). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  34. Larson, R. W., & Almeida, D. M. (1999). Emotional transmission in the daily lives of families: A new paradigm for studying family process. Journal of Marriage and Family, 61, 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lovas, G. S. (2005). Gender and patterns of emotional availability in mother–toddler and father–toddler dyads. Infant Mental Health Journal, 26, 327–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. MacKinnon, D. P. (2008). Introduction to statistical mediation analysis. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  37. MacKinnon, D. P., Lockwood, C. M., & Williams, J. M. (2004). Confidence limits for the indirect effect: Distribution of the product and resampling methods. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 39, 99–128.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Margolin, G., Christensen, A., & John, R. S. (1996). The continuance and spillover of everyday tensions in distressed and nondistressed families. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 304–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Margolin, G., & Patterson, G. R. (1975). Differential consequences provided by mothers and fathers for their sons and daughters. Developmental Psychology, 11, 537–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McHale, J. P. (1995). Coparenting and triadic interactions during infancy: The roles of marital distress and child gender. Developmental Psychology, 31, 958–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2010). Mplus user’s guide (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  42. Newland, R. P., & Crnic, K. A. (2011). Mother–child affect and emotion socialization processes across the late preschool period: Predictions of emerging behaviour problems. Infant and Child Development, 20, 371–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Newton, T. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W. B. (1995). Conflict and withdrawal during marital interaction: The roles of hostility and defensiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 512–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nolen-Hoeksma, S., & Rusting, C. L. (1999). Gender differences in well-being. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 330–350). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  45. Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castilia Press.Google Scholar
  46. Perry-Jenkins, M., Repetti, R. L., & Crouter, A. C. (2000). Work and family in the 1990s. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 981–998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Power, T. G., McGrath, M. P., Hughes, S. O., & Manire, S. H. (1994). Compliance and self-assertion: Young children’s responses to mothers versus fathers. Developmental Psychology, 30, 980–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Proulx, C. M., Buehler, C., & Helms, H. (2009). Moderators of the link between marital hostility and change in spouses’ depressive symptoms. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 540–550.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Raley, S., & Bianchi, S. (2006). Sons, daughters, and family processes: Does gender of children matter? Annual Review of Sociology, 32, 401–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rothbaum, F., & Weisz, J. R. (1994). Parental caregiving and child externalizing behavior in nonclinical samples: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 55–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Russell, A., & Saebel, J. (1997). Mother–son, mother–daughter, father–son, and father–daughter: Are they distinct relationships? Developmental Review, 17, 111–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schermerhorn, A. C., Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. T. (2008). Children’s representations of multiple family relationships: Organizational structure and development in early childhood. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 89–101.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Simons, R. L., Whitbeck, L. B., Conger, R. D., & Chyi-In, W. (1991). Intergenerational transmission of harsh parenting. Developmental Psychology, 27, 159–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith, T. W., Sanders, J. D., & Alexander, J. F. (1990). What does the Cook and Medley Hostility Scale measure? Affect, behavior, and attributions in the marital context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 699–708.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Song, Z., Foo, M., & Uy, M. A. (2008). Mood spillover and crossover among dual-earner couples: A cell phone event sampling study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 443–452.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Spielberger, C. D. (1988). State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Odessa: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  57. Steinberg, L. D. (1981). Transitions in family relations at puberty. Developmental Psychology, 17, 833–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stocker, C. M., Richmond, M. K., Low, S. M., Alexander, E. K., & Elias, N. M. (2003). Marital conflict and children’s adjustment: Parental hostility and children’s interpretations as mediators. Social Development, 12, 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stormshak, E., Bierman, K., McMahon, R., & Lengua, L. (2000). Parenting practices and child disruptive behaviors problems in early elementary school. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29, 17–29.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stroud, C. B., Durbin, C. E., Wilson, S., & Mendelsohn, K. A. (2011). Spillover to triadic and dyadic systems in families with young children. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 919–930.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Werner, N. E., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2003). Family relationship quality and contact with deviant peers as predictors of adolescent problem behaviors: The moderating role of gender. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18, 454–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca P. Newland
    • 1
  • Lucia Ciciolla
    • 1
  • Keith A. Crnic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations