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Title:Patterns of marital conflict and children's emotions
Author(s):Katz, Lynn Fainsilber
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Parke, Ross D.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Psychobiology
Psychology, Developmental
Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:An investigation of the effects of marital discord on children's emotions is reported. A sample of families ranging widely in marital satisfaction and having a 4- to 5-year-old child participated in several home and laboratory sessions involving marital and parent-child interaction. Synchronized observational and physiological indices were obtained from both spouses during a high-conflict marital discussion and from the child during parent-child interaction. The parent-child interaction consisted of a teaching task which had the potential for a great deal of fun as well as for the elicitation of negative affect. Marital interaction was coded using the Marital Interaction Coding System (MICS-III; Weiss & Summers, 1983). Parent-child interaction was coded using the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF; Gottman, 1986).
A path-analytic model was developed linking specific patterns of marital interaction with different emotional reactions by both parents and children during parent-child interaction. Support was found for the hypothesis that withdrawn marital interaction, rather than "hot" marital interaction, is associated with children's displays of negative affect. Specifically, wife withdrawal during marital interaction was associated with parents showing negative listening behaviors during parent-child interaction (such as showing disapproval or disengaging from interaction). This parenting pattern predicted displays of anger in the child. It was also reported that children who expressed high levels of anger had low vagal tone, suggestive of an inability to focus attention and inhibit inappropriate behavior.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Katz, Lynn Fainsilber
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114231
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114231

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