This study examined the relation between maternal and filial attributions and the aggressiveness of their interactions. We also examined whether or not certain setting conditions (e.g., maternal and child depression, maternal and child negative life events, marital conflict, socioeconomic status) predispose some mothers and children to make negative attributions and interact coercively. One hundred four mothers and sons (age 7–9 years) from married and divorced families participated. They completed questionnaire and interview data and were observed while participating in two gamelike tasks (e.g., Trouble, Etch-a-Sketch). Both maternal and child attributions were significantly related to their coercive interactions. The most aggressive dyads were those in which both mothers and sons perceived hostile intent in the other. The relations between attributions and coercive interactions were found to be moderated by marital conflict, and maternal education, such that the association between attributions and coercive behavior, was stronger when marital conflict was low and the mothers were better educated.