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Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms.
J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 2015; 44(5):800-13JC

Abstract

Research has evidenced support for the spillover model, which posits that parents' marital functioning influences child adjustment by eroding parenting and coparenting in dyadic (mother-child and father-child) and triadic (mother-father-child) contexts. However, prior work has not simultaneously investigated dyadic and triadic parenting as mechanisms of spillover. Furthermore, although evidence indicates that the marital system affects child adjustment by influencing parents' behavior, research has not explored whether child behaviors in parent-child interactions also serve as mechanisms. To address these gaps, we examined the spillover model using observational measures of parent and child behavior in parent-child dyadic interactions as well as coparenting in triadic interactions. We also explored parent and child gender differences in spillover effects. Participants were families with children 3 to 6 years of age (n=149; 62% Caucasian). Findings indicated that marital functioning influences child adjustment by disrupting parent-child interactions in dyadic and triadic contexts, although results differed by child/parent gender and outcome examined. First, children's responsiveness to their mothers emerged as a significant mechanism of spillover effects for boys' internalizing and girls' externalizing behavior. Second, for girls and boys, marital functioning was indirectly related to children's internalizing and externalizing behavior through reductions in coparenting warmth. Finally, there was little evidence that parent gender moderated the indirect effect of dyadic parenting, except that child responsiveness to mothers (vs. to fathers) was more strongly related to child adjustment. These findings underscore the need for interventions targeting dyadic and triadic parent-child interactions in the face of marital distress.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Psychology , Williams College.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24819587

Citation

Stroud, Catherine B., et al. "Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms." Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology : the Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, vol. 44, no. 5, 2015, pp. 800-13.
Stroud CB, Meyers KM, Wilson S, et al. Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2015;44(5):800-13.
Stroud, C. B., Meyers, K. M., Wilson, S., & Durbin, C. E. (2015). Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology : the Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 44(5), pp. 800-13. doi:10.1080/15374416.2014.900720.
Stroud CB, et al. Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2015;44(5):800-13. PubMed PMID: 24819587.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Marital Quality Spillover and Young Children's Adjustment: Evidence for Dyadic and Triadic Parenting as Mechanisms. AU - Stroud,Catherine B, AU - Meyers,Kathryn M, AU - Wilson,Sylia, AU - Durbin,C Emily, Y1 - 2014/05/12/ PY - 2014/5/14/entrez PY - 2014/5/14/pubmed PY - 2016/4/6/medline SP - 800 EP - 13 JF - Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53 JO - J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol VL - 44 IS - 5 N2 - Research has evidenced support for the spillover model, which posits that parents' marital functioning influences child adjustment by eroding parenting and coparenting in dyadic (mother-child and father-child) and triadic (mother-father-child) contexts. However, prior work has not simultaneously investigated dyadic and triadic parenting as mechanisms of spillover. Furthermore, although evidence indicates that the marital system affects child adjustment by influencing parents' behavior, research has not explored whether child behaviors in parent-child interactions also serve as mechanisms. To address these gaps, we examined the spillover model using observational measures of parent and child behavior in parent-child dyadic interactions as well as coparenting in triadic interactions. We also explored parent and child gender differences in spillover effects. Participants were families with children 3 to 6 years of age (n=149; 62% Caucasian). Findings indicated that marital functioning influences child adjustment by disrupting parent-child interactions in dyadic and triadic contexts, although results differed by child/parent gender and outcome examined. First, children's responsiveness to their mothers emerged as a significant mechanism of spillover effects for boys' internalizing and girls' externalizing behavior. Second, for girls and boys, marital functioning was indirectly related to children's internalizing and externalizing behavior through reductions in coparenting warmth. Finally, there was little evidence that parent gender moderated the indirect effect of dyadic parenting, except that child responsiveness to mothers (vs. to fathers) was more strongly related to child adjustment. These findings underscore the need for interventions targeting dyadic and triadic parent-child interactions in the face of marital distress. SN - 1537-4424 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24819587/Marital_Quality_Spillover_and_Young_Children's_Adjustment:_Evidence_for_Dyadic_and_Triadic_Parenting_as_Mechanisms_ L2 - http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15374416.2014.900720 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -