Life course and current family factors associated with individual differences in parent–child
relationships were investigated in a sample of 467 children from 192 families, including
stepfather, single-parent, stepmother, and complex stepfamilies; informants were fathers,
mothers, and children. Both positive and negative dimensions of father–child and
mother–child relationships were linked to earlier life course experiences of parent and of
partner, to current family factors, and to the quality of partner's relationship with the child.
The pattern of associations between the adults' life course experiences meant that children
were at risk for a “double dose” of less affectionate relationships in families in which parents
had experienced early adversities. The significance of biological relatedness, family setting,
and child–partner relationships was highlighted.