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Title:Marital conflict and children's adjustment: Initial investigations of the cognitive-contextual framework
Author(s):Grych, John Howard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fincham, Frank D.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:Children exposed to higher levels of marital conflict tend to exhibit greater adjustment problems than children from more harmonious families. However, there has been little work exploring the processes by which exposure to conflict may give rise to adjustment problems. Grych and Fincham (1990) recently proposed a framework outlining factors that influence the impact of interparental conflict on children. The framework proposes that the stressfulness of conflict is mediated by children's appraisal of the conflict, a process which is shaped by characteristics of the conflict and contextual variables. Guided by this framework, two studies were conducted that (a) examined relations between children's perceptions of marital conflict and their level of adjustment and (b) investigated how particular dimensions of conflict affect children's immediate responses to conflict, and the relations among contextual factors, children's perceptions of conflict, and their affective and coping responses. Results from Study 1 indicated that children's perceptions of the frequency, intensity, and resolution of marital conflict were consistently associated with both internalizing and externalizing problems assessed through parent, teacher/peer, and child reports. Study 2 showed that both the intensity and content of conflict were related to children's affective, cognitive, and coping responses, and that children's perceptions of conflict were linked to their affect and choice of coping strategies. However, the effects of context were inconsistent. These findings suggest that it is important to consider both characteristics of conflict and children's appraisals in understanding how marital conflict may affect children.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Grych, John Howard
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210818
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210818

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