Cascading effects of interparental conflict in adolescence: Linking threat appraisals, self-efficacy, and adjustment

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Abstract

This study examined the longitudinal implications of adolescents' exposure to interparental conflict for their developmental success. In the proposed developmental cascade model, adolescents' perceptions of parental conflict as threatening is a risk factor for diminished self-efficacy, which would account for diminished adjustment. This study presents longitudinal data for 768 sixth-grade students and their families over four time points, ending in eighth grade. Analyses were conducted in three steps. First, replication of longitudinal support for threat as a mediator of the link between interparental conflict and emotional distress was found; however, findings did not support threat as a mediator of behavior problems or subjective well-being. Second, threat was found to mediate the longitudinal association between interparental conflict and self-efficacy. Third, a developmental cascade model supported a risk process in which interparental conflict was related to adolescents' threat appraisals, which undermined self-efficacy beliefs, and was then linked with emotional distress, behavior problems, and subjective well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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