Coping with parental negativity: links with parental warmth and child adjustment

Mindy A. Herman, Susan M. McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined children's strategies for coping with parental negativity and the links between coping and measures of parent-child relationships and child adjustment. Participants were 152 children (mean age = 10 years) and their parents. Analyses revealed that boys reported more frequently "forgetting" about parental negativity than did girls. Boys and girls did not differ, however, in their use of "talking to parents" or "problem solving" as coping strategies. Children also differed in how they coped with maternal versus paternal negativity: Girls talked to mothers more than to fathers, and both boys and girls talked to someone else more often when they experienced conflict with fathers than with mothers. Parental warmth and intimacy were associated with higher rates of talking to parents and problem solving and lower rates of forgetting. Problem solving was positively associated and forgetting was negatively associated with children's reports of anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-136
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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