PsyResearch
ψ   Psychology Research on the Web   



Couples needed for online psychology research


Help us grow:




Journal of Family Psychology - Vol 31, Iss 7

Random Abstract
Quick Journal Finder:
Journal of Family Psychology The Journal of Family Psychology is devoted to the study of the family system from multiple perspectives and to the application of psychological methods of inquiry to that end.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Long-term effects of a parenting preventive intervention on young adults’ painful feelings about divorce.
    This study examined whether the New Beginnings Program (NBP), a parenting preventive intervention for divorced mothers that was designed to reduce children’s postdivorce mental health problems, reduced painful feelings about divorce in young adults whose families had participated 15 years earlier. This study also explored whether NBP participation reduced the relations between young adults’ painful feelings about divorce and their concurrent internalizing, externalizing, and substance use problems. Participants (M = 25.6 years; 50% female; 88% Caucasian) were from 240 families that had been recruited into a randomized experimental trial (NBP vs. literature control). Data from the pretest and 15-year follow-up were used. NBP participants reported less feelings of seeing life through a filter of divorce (e.g., thinking about how the divorce causes continued struggles for them) than those in the control condition. Program effects on maternal blame and acceptance of the divorce were moderated by pretest risk, a composite of divorce-related stressors and externalizing problems. NBP participants with elevated risk at program entry had lower levels of maternal blame. Program participation was associated with higher acceptance for those with elevated risk at program entry but lower acceptance for those with low risk at program entry. Program participation decreased the relations between maternal blame, acceptance of the divorce and filter of divorce and some, but not all, of the adjustment outcomes. These findings suggest that programs designed to help families after divorce have benefits in terms of long-term feelings about parental divorce as well as their relations with adjustment problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Implications of parent–child relationships for emerging adults’ subjective feelings about adulthood.
    Little is known about the role of parents in promoting their children’s successful transition to adulthood, particularly for college students who may maintain stronger ties to parents than other emerging adults. The present study therefore investigated longitudinal implications of parent–child relationship qualities during emerging adults’ first year of college for their feelings about the upcoming transition to adulthood 3 years later, as well as implications of 3 types of parental control (behavioral control, psychological control, helicopter parenting) for these associations. Multilevel models indicated that emerging adults who reported less negativity in their relationships with mothers and fathers felt more like adults 3 years later compared with emerging adults with low-quality relationships, while high levels of psychological control and helicopter parenting had detrimental implications for their vocational identity development and perceived competence regarding their transition to adulthood. However, nuanced interactions between parent–child relationship quality and parental control indicated that behavioral control had positive implications for outcomes if it occurred within the context of high-quality relationships, or when utilized with sons. The present study highlights the complex role that parents may play during college students’ transition to adulthood, and future work should continue to examine ways that clinicians can incorporate parents as a potential resource for promoting emerging adults’ successful transition to adulthood and the workforce. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Longitudinal associations between adult children’s relations with parents and intimate partners.
    Drawing on 5 waves of multiple-informant data gathered from focal participants and their parents and intimate partners (n = 360 families) who completed annual surveys in the German Family Panel (pairfam) study, the present investigation examined bidirectional associations between the development of adults’ conflictual and intimate interactions with their parents and intimate partners. Autoregressive cross-lagged latent change score modeling results revealed a robust pattern of coordinated development between parent-adult child and couple conflictual and intimate interactions: increases in conflict and intimacy in one relationship were contemporaneously intertwined with changes in the other relationship. Additionally, prior couple intimacy and conflict predicted future parent-adult child relations in 7 out of 14 cross-lagged pathways examined, but parent-adult child conflict and intimacy was only associated with future couple interactions in 1 pathway. These associations were not moderated by the gender of parents or the adult child or whether the adult child was a young adult or nearing midlife. Frequency of contact between parents and the adult child moderated some associations. Adults simultaneously juggle ties with parents and intimate partners, and this study provides strong evidence supporting the coordinated development of conflictual and intimate patterns of interaction in each relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • The legacy of early childhood violence exposure to adulthood intimate partner violence: Variable- and person-oriented evidence.
    This study examined prospective pathways from exposure to interparental violence (EIPV) during infancy (ages 0–24 months) and toddlerhood/preschool (ages 25–64 months) to intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and victimization in adulthood (ages 23, 26, and 32 years) using 2 complementary approaches. Building on past findings, a variable-oriented approach was used to examine the effects of developmental timing of EIPV in infancy versus toddlerhood/preschool to IPV involvement in early adulthood, at age 23 years. A person-oriented approach next examined whether continuity and change in IPV (persisting, increasing, and decreasing vs. nonviolent patterns) across the transition from early adulthood to adulthood (ages 26 to 32 years) were predicted by developmental timing of EIPV within early childhood and/or contemporaneous adulthood factors (life stress and behavior problems). In this fully prospective longitudinal study beginning at birth, mothers reported on EIPV in infancy and toddlerhood/preschool, and participants (N = 179) reported on IPV and contemporaneous stress and behavior in early adulthood and adulthood. Results indicated that according to the variable-oriented approach, EIPV in toddlerhood/preschool but not in infancy predicted both IPV perpetration and victimization at age 23. The person-oriented approach revealed that, along with life stress and externalizing behavior, EIPV in toddlerhood/preschool, but not in infancy, also differentiated patterns of IPV from ages 26 to 32. Findings converge on toddlerhood/preschool as a particular promising developmental period to intervene and deter long-term effects of EIPV on IPV across the transition from early adulthood to adulthood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Coparenting relationship trajectories: Marital violence linked to change and variability after separation.
    Associations between marital intimate partner violence (IPV) and postseparation coparenting relationship trajectories were examined among 135 mothers who participated in 5 interviews at 3-month intervals in the year following their divorce filing. Growth curve analysis was conducted to assess change and variability in coparenting dimensions (i.e., conflict, support, communication about child rearing, and harassment) in the overall sample and by type of IPV. In the overall sample, coparenting conflict, communication about child rearing, and harassment decreased across the year following separation. However, coparenting relationships differed considerably based on marital IPV experiences. At Time 1, mothers in relationships with coercive controlling violence (CCV) reported higher levels of harassment and conflict, and lower levels of support and communication about coparenting, than mothers with situational couple violence (SCV) or no violence (NV). Furthermore, coparenting relationship trajectories differed significantly by IPV group, with mothers who experienced CCV showing more variability in conflict and harassment, and more marked changes in conflict, support, and harassment. Despite many similarities, mothers with SCV showed higher initial levels of harassment compared to mothers with NV. Findings can support family court and social service professionals’ efforts to individualize interventions with divorcing parents based on IPV experiences. In cases of CCV, for example, attention to heightened control dynamics in the immediate separation period remain critical but the persistent volatility across the first year suggests the potential for chronic stress. With SCV, practitioners may be able to capitalize on parents’ reasonable levels of communication and steady coparenting support. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Ethnic differences in mothering qualities and relations to academic achievement.
    Although qualities of mothering behavior have been consistently linked with children’s academic outcomes, mothers from different ethnic groups may emphasize different dimensions with their children. The present investigation aims to evaluate and compare the dimensionality of mothering in low-income African American (n = 151) and Mexican American (n = 182) mothers during early childhood and its predictive utility for children’s academic achievement. Video-recorded mother–child interactions with children at 2½ and 3½ years of age were rated using 6 mothering quality items from a widely used global rating system. A bifactor measurement model of these 6 items yielded a general sensitive support factor and a specific intrusive-insensitive factor. The bifactor model fit the data significantly better at both time points than either a single-factor or a 2-factor model. Invariance testing supported the stability of the measurement model across the 2 time points. Invariance testing by ethnicity indicated differences in factor loadings as well as mean levels of the specific factor of intrusive-insensitivity. The specific factor reflecting intrusive-insensitive mothering at age 2½ years was associated with poorer subsequent reading achievement for African American but not Mexican American children, suggesting the specific factor reflected qualitatively different parenting constructs for the 2 ethnic groups. Critical examination of what constitutes more optimal parenting yielded both similar and dissimilar characteristics and their relations across culturally different groups of families. Such knowledge should contribute to the development of more effective interventions for ethnically diverse families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • The Parting Parent Concern Inventory: Parents’ appraisals correlate with divorced family functioning.
    When married parents go through a divorce, they may have concerns in 6 areas that are associated with postdivorce family adjustment. These include concerns about malice, power, custody, child rejection, esteem, and finances. The Parting Parent Concern Inventory assesses these concerns. It was developed in a series of preliminary studies, and this report focuses on results from 2 subsequent validation studies including 643 divorced parents with at least 1 child from their former marriage under the age of 18. Participants completed Internet assessments of their concerns and 14 different convergent validity criterion variables regarding aspects of child internalizing behavior, coparenting relationships, settlement outcomes, and personal well-being. Across both studies, the new measure of concerns fit an expected 6-dimensional factor structure. A total of 25 convergent validity correlations were tested, and all were significant. The distinctiveness of each concern scale was supported by the fact that all but 1 convergent association remained significant after controlling for variance explained by other concern scales. These results provide preliminary validation support for the new instrument. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Piloting relationship education for female same-sex couples: Results of a small randomized waitlist-control trial.
    Relationship education represents a promising, nonstigmatizing approach to promoting the health and stability of same-sex couples. A new culturally sensitive adaptation of relationship education was developed specifically for female same-sex couples (The Strengthening Same-Sex Relationships Program, Female version; SSSR-F). SSSR-F includes adaptations of evidence-based strategies to build core relationship skills (e.g., communication skills training) as well as new content to address unique challenges faced by this population (e.g., discrimination; low social support). A small randomized waitlist-control trial (N = 37 couples) was conducted to evaluate program feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy. Three proximal outcomes targeted by SSSR-F (communication, perceived stress, social support) and 3 distal outcomes (global relationship satisfaction, instability, and confidence) were assessed at pre- and posttreatment and 3-month follow-up. Results of multilevel models accounting for nonindependence in dyadic data indicated statistically significant program effects on positive and negative couple communication, relationship satisfaction, and relationship confidence and small, nonsignificant program effects on stress, social support, and relationship instability. Analyses of follow-up data suggest maintenance of effects on the proximal but not the distal outcomes. Ratings of program satisfaction were high. Overall, findings support the feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of SSSR-F, highlighting the potential value of culturally sensitive relationship education for same-sex couples. Continued efforts are needed to increase sustainability of program effects on global relationship quality over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Trans and gender-nonconforming children and their caregivers: Gender presentations, peer relations, and well-being at baseline.
    This study, involving a community-based sample of 45 predominantly white primary caregivers of 45 trans and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) children between 6 and 12 years of age, provides descriptive data on children’s gender presentations, peer relations, and well-being. Most (n = 31; 69%) of the children were cross-gender identified (CGI). That is, 17 of 28 children assigned male at birth explicitly and consistently identified as girls, and 14 of 17 children assigned female at birth explicitly and consistently identified as boys. The 14 remaining children appeared to have nonbinary gender identities (e.g., “boy-girl”) or to identify with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth but were gender-nonconforming, or their gender identities were uncertain. This subgroup was labeled non-CGI. Most of the children were in the normal range for internalizing (64%), externalizing (67%), and total behavior problems (62%), yet a sizable minority were in the borderline-clinical/clinical range for these symptoms. Children in the CGI group had fewer internalizing and total problems than children in the non-CGI group. Child’s degree of gender conformity, caregiver’s level of anxiety, and child’s peer relations were correlated with children’s well-being; children in the CGI group were reported to have better peer relations than children in the non-CGI group. Caregivers’ rates of depression and anxiety appeared to be similar to normative samples, although anxiety may have been slightly elevated. Findings from this study add to a small but growing body of literature that documents the well-being of TGNC children growing up in supportive and affirming familial environments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Spillover between interparental conflict and parent–child conflict within and across days.
    The present study used a daily reporting design to examine the bidirectional spillover in conflict and conflict strategies between the interparental relationship and the parent–child relationship. Participants were 60 parents with a preadolescent child at risk for aggressive behavior. Parents reported on their experience of interparental and parent–child conflict and their use of constructive and destructive conflict strategies through daily telephone interviews over 7 days. Each day was divided into 3 equal time periods roughly corresponding to early morning, daytime, and evening. Time-lagged analyses investigated the spillover in conflict within and across days. Results revealed that the presence of interparental conflict significantly predicted the presence of parent–child conflict 1 time period later and 1 full day later. Likewise, the presence of parent–child conflict significantly predicted the presence of interparental conflict 1 full day later. In terms of conflict strategy use, results revealed that parents who engaged in constructive patterns of interparental conflict were more likely to engage in constructive patterns of parent–child conflict 1 time period later and 1 full day later. Reciprocal effects for constructive parent–child conflict predicting subsequent interparental conflict were significant across all 3 time lags assessed. There were no significant, bidirectional effects for the spillover in destructive conflict. Findings have important clinical implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Adolescents’ responses to marital conflict: The role of cooperative marital conflict.
    Not all youth exposed to hostile marital interactions develop negative responses to marital conflict. Cooperative marital conflict has long been considered as an important way of managing conflict and may serve as an important context in which hostility might convey during marital interactions. In light of little prior attention placed on the positive side of conflict processes, the main and moderating effects of cooperative marital conflict on youth responses to marital conflict were examined in a sample of 416 2-parent families using a multimethod, 2-year prospective design. Cooperative marital conflict was associated with decreases in youth emotional dysregulation, perceived threat, and behavioral dysregulation, and increases in constructive family representations and coping efficacy. As a specific dimension of cooperation, effective conflict resolution was associated uniquely with elevated youth coping efficacy, and decreased emotional and behavioral dysregulation; marital warmth was associated uniquely with increased constructive family representations. Significant interactions between marital hostility and marital cooperation also were found. These findings highlight the importance of examining cooperation above and beyond hostility in studies of marital conflict in order to better understand youth development during early adolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Patterns of interparental conflict, parenting, and children’s emotional insecurity: A person-centered approach.
    We examined the relations between interparental conflict (destructive and constructive), parenting behaviors (harshness and supportiveness) and children’s emotional insecurity in early childhood when children were approximately 36 months of age. The sample consisted of low-income unmarried couples who were expectant/new parents who participated in the national Building Strong Families project. Interparental conflict was assessed through parents’ reported perception of the other parent’s conflict behavior. Parenting behaviors were measured through observational data, and children’s emotional insecurity was based on parents’ reports. Using latent profile analysis, three goals were addressed: (a) concordance or discord of mothers’ and fathers’ conflict behaviors, (b) the relation between couples’ conflict behaviors and parenting, and (c) the association between couples’ conflict behaviors and child emotional insecurity. Our findings revealed 4 profiles of couples that share similar characteristics, which in turn were differentially linked to aspects of parenting and child development. Further, results indicated that the vast majority of low-income unmarried couples engage in constructive conflict management behaviors. These findings highlight the need to consider the family unit when designing interventions or providing counseling. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Are there individual and sibling differences in appraisals of interparental conflict?
    Despite decades of empirical literature documenting the harmful effects of frequent, intense, violent, and unresolved interparental conflict on children’s adjustment, there is considerable variability in the extent to which marital conflict contributes to the development of children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Past research has documented links between properties of interparental conflict itself (e.g., intensity, frequency), children’s appraisals of conflict, and children’s outcomes, yet less is known about the role of individual and family characteristics in predicting children’s conflict appraisals. Sibling studies may be especially helpful in understanding these individual differences yet are notably lacking in marital conflict research. The current study examines individual- and family-characteristic predictors of adolescents’ appraisals of conflict in a study of 153 adolescents as well as sibling similarities in conflict appraisals in a subsample of 50 pairs of siblings. Controlling for parent reports of the frequency, intensity, and resolution of interparental conflict, parent–child relationship quality and stressful life events predicted conflict appraisals. In addition, there was nonindependence of sibling appraisals of conflict properties, but self-blame and threat appraisals appeared independent across siblings. Greater discrepancies in siblings’ conflict appraisals were related to more negative marital conflict and discrepancies in parent–child relationship quality, and were found in mixed-sex sibling dyads. Implications for future studies on factors that impact children’s appraisals of conflict and in particular making use of sibling studies to examine shared environmental and individual influences on appraisals is highlighted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Mothers’ and fathers’ internalizing symptoms influence parental ratings of adolescent anxiety symptoms.
    Clinical assessment of anxiety in adolescents often involves multiple informants, and parental internalizing symptoms have been found to influence parent ratings of adolescents’ anxiety symptoms. We investigated how parental internalizing symptoms (anxiety and depression) were related to adolescent and parent reports of adolescents’ anxiety symptoms in a population-based cross-sectional survey. The sample comprised 337 adolescent–mother–father triads (N = 1,011) drawn from the Tracking Opportunities and Problems in Childhood and Adolescence (TOPP) study. Adolescents (43.9% boys) were 14- and 15-years old. Adolescent and parent ratings of adolescent anxiety symptoms (The Coolidge Personality and Neuropsychological Inventory for Children) were moderately and significantly correlated (mother–adolescent r = .30; father–adolescent r = .25). Parents also self-rated internalizing symptoms (Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25). Regression models showed higher maternal and paternal depression symptoms, but not anxiety symptoms, were associated with higher parent-rated adolescent anxiety symptoms. Higher maternal anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as paternal depression symptoms, but not paternal anxiety symptoms, were associated with lower parent-adolescent agreement on adolescent anxiety symptoms (i.e., parent-rating higher relative to adolescent-rating). When adolescents rate considerably lower anxiety compared with how their parents rate them, considering parental depression as a possible reason may be key to understanding adolescents’ treatment needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Family dinner frequency interacts with dinnertime context in associations with child and parent BMI outcomes.
    For youth and parents, frequent family meals have been consistently associated with positive dietary outcomes but less consistently associated with lower body mass index (BMI). Researchers have speculated dinnertime context (dinnertime routines, parent dinnertime media use) may interact with family meal frequency to impact associations with BMI. The present study evaluates the associations and interactions between dinnertime context measures and family dinner frequency with parent and child BMI. This cross-sectional study uses baseline data from the Healthy Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus randomized control trial that aimed to prevent childhood obesity. Participants (160 parent–child dyads) completed psychosocial surveys and were measured for height and weight. General linear models tested associations and interactions between dinnertime context measures and family dinner frequency with parent and child BMI, adjusted for race and economic assistance. Lower parent dinnertime media use and higher dinnertime routines were significantly associated with lower child BMI z scores but not parent BMI scores. Interaction–moderation findings suggest higher family dinner frequency amplifies the healthful impact of the dinnertime context on child BMI z scores. Additionally, findings emphasize that promoting frequent family meals along with consistent routines and reduction in parent dinnertime media use may be important for the prevention of childhood obesity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Attitudes toward and prevalence of extramarital sex and descriptions of extramarital partners in the 21st century.
    Using the most recent nine waves of data from the General Social Survey, which consists of in-person interviews of independent probability samples of the adult household population of the United States, the purposes of this study were to (a) provide descriptive information on adults’ attitudes toward extramarital sex, lifetime and annual prevalence of extramarital sex among ever-married adults, and the identity of the extramarital sex partner(s) of currently married adults; (b) evaluate temporal trends in attitudes toward and prevalence of extramarital sex from 2000 to 2016; and (c) test for gender differences in attitudes toward and prevalence of extramarital sex and descriptions of the extramarital partner. The percentages of Americans who reported that extramarital sex was always wrong significantly declined from 2000 to 2016, whereas the percentage who reported it was wrong only sometimes significantly increased. There was a statistically significant linear decline in reported lifetime prevalence of extramarital sex from 2000 (17.8%) to 2016 (16.3%), whereas there was no statistically significant change in reported annual prevalence of extramarital sex (3.0%). People most commonly reported having extramarital sex with a close personal friend (53.5%) or neighbor, coworker, or long-term acquaintance (29.4%). Compared with women, men were (a) less likely to report that extramarital sex was always wrong and more likely to view it as almost always wrong, wrong only sometimes, or not wrong at all; (b) more likely to report past-year and lifetime extramarital sex; and (c) more likely to report extramarital sex with someone they knew casually. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source

  • Socialization of coping in a predominantly female sample of caregivers: Contributions to children’s social adjustment in middle childhood.
    This study applied a short-term longitudinal design to examine whether socialization of coping, observed in real time, predicted social adjustment (i.e., friendship quality and social problems) in middle childhood. Further, this study explored whether socialization of coping contributed to children’s social adjustment independent of other aspects of parenting (i.e., positive involvement, autonomy support). Parents’ (primarily mothers’) coping suggestions were observed while children completed a challenging star-tracing task, and children and parents reported on children’s social adjustment at baseline and at a 6-month follow-up. Results revealed that primary control engagement suggestions predicted fewer social problems, and disengagement suggestions predicted lower friendship quality. These results demonstrate that coping suggestions observed in the context of a cognitive stressor help to explain individual differences in children’s social development during middle childhood above and beyond other aspects of parenting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
    Citation link to source



Back to top


Back to top