Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 437–452

Marital Satisfaction and Child Adjustment: Direct and Mediated Pathways

  • Elizabeth A. Fishman
  • Steven A. Meyers

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007848901640

Cite this article as:
Fishman, E.A. & Meyers, S.A. Contemporary Family Therapy (2000) 22: 437. doi:10.1023/A:1007848901640


We explored whether there is a direct association between marital satisfaction and children's psychological adjustment. We also investigated a competing model to assess whether marital satisfaction is indirectly related to child outcomes through its associations with parents' depression and involvement in childrearing. Analyses of data from 1,101 participants in the National Survey of Families and Households indicated that mothers' and fathers' reports of marital satisfaction were significantly associated with child symptomatology. Moreover, mothers who experienced marital dissatisfaction were less involved with their children, which in turn was associated with greater child psychological distress. This mediated pathway was not significant for fathers.

marital satisfaction child psychopathology parent-child involvement 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Fishman
    • 1
  • Steven A. Meyers
    • 2
  1. 1.Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicago
  2. 2.School of PsychologyRoosevelt UniversityChicago

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