Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 707–718 | Cite as

The relationship of early adolescent functioning to parent-reported and adolescent-perceived interparental conflict

  • Michelle Wierson
  • Rex Forehand
  • Amanda McCombs


Is an adolescent's perception of interparental conflict important or is the parents' report of such conflict sufficient to predict adolescent functioning? To examine this question, a study was undertaken with 178 young adolescents and their mothers, fathers, and social studies teachers. Adolescents completed a measure of their perceptions of interparental conflict while mothers and fathers completed a self-report measure of their conflict. Teachers provided an assessment of each adolescent's cognitive and social functioning at two separate times, 1 year apart. Results indicated that both parental report, particularly maternal, and adolescent perception of interparental conflict were significantly related to adolescent cognitive and social functioning, and the magnitude of the correlations did not differ significantly. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed in which mother and father report of conflict was forced into the equation initially and adolescent perception of such conflict was allowed to enter freely. These analyses indicated that adolescents' perceptions accounted for unique variance in their functioning, beyond that accounted for by parental report. The results are discussed in terms of the specific roles that parental conflict and adolescent perceptions of such conflict play and the possible mechanisms by which each operates.


Regression Analysis Social Functioning Specific Role Parental Report Social Study 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Wierson
    • 1
  • Rex Forehand
    • 1
  • Amanda McCombs
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

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