Interparental conflict, negative parenting, and children's adjustment: bridging links between parents' depression and children's psychological distress.J Fam Psychol. 2008 Oct; 22(5):712-24.JF
Pathways linking parental depressive symptoms, adult relationship insecurity, interparental conflict, negative parenting, and children's psychological adjustment (internalizing symptoms and externalizing problems) were assessed using a 3-wave longitudinal research design. Two-parent families (N = 352) with 11- to 13-year-old children (179 boys, 173 girls) participated in the study. Maternal and paternal depressive symptoms were associated with insecurity in adult close relationships assessed 12 months later, which was concurrently related to heightened levels of interparental conflict. Controlling for children's initial symptom levels, interparental conflict was related to child appraisals of father and mother rejection assessed an additional 12 months later, which were related to children's internalizing symptoms and externalizing problems, respectively. Results are discussed with regard to the implications for understanding the complex interplay between adult depressive symptoms, attributions in close adult relationships, interparental conflict, negative parenting, and children's psychological adjustment.