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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2012

Chapter 25 - Children and Electronic Media

from Part III - Environments


The health and quality of the marital relationship are important aspects of the family to consider as environments for child development. Associations between the quality of the marital relationship and child development outcomes have long been demonstrated. This chapter presents the definition of marital health, and focuses on explicating the components of marital health, including distinctions between destructive and constructive interparental conflict from the children's perspective. It reviews the findings concerning pathways of the effects of marital health on children, including influences following from exposure to marital functioning (i.e., direct effects), and changes in family functioning, illustrated by parenting, linked with qualities of marital functioning (i.e., indirect effects). The chapter examines additional interrelated family contexts associated with marital health, including parental psychological adjustment, and divorced and divided families as well as blended families. Finally, it presents future directions for understanding marital health as a developmental context for child development.

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