Hostname: page-component-5db6c4db9b-fdz9p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-23T21:27:50.748Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Interparental conflict and relations with parents as predictors of young adult functioning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1997

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Institute for Behavior Research, University of Georgia
Institute for Behavior Research, University of Georgia


Interparental conflict is a known risk factor for child adjustment problems; yet few studies have examined its long-term effects. This study tests the following hypotheses: Interparental conflict has both longitudinal and concurrent influences on the functioning of young adult children, and the relationship between young adults and their parents mediates these influences. We assessed a community sample (N = 243) of families when the target child was in early to middle adolescence. We then reassessed them 6 years later during young adulthood. The links of interparental conflict measured at the two time points to young adults' general psychopathology and antisocial behavior were examined using multiple regression analyses. The quality of the relationship between young adults and each parent was added to each equation as a potential mediating variable. Results showed that concurrent, but not earlier, interparental conflict predicted males' antisocial behavior. No support was found for the mediational model, but support was found for an alternate model positing direct effects for interparental conflict and the parent-young adult relationship on young adult functioning. For females and males, problematic relationships with mothers and fathers predicted greater general psychopathology, while problems in paternal relationships predicted higher levels of antisocial behavior only for females.

Research Article
© 1997 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)