Divine alliances to handle family conflict: Theistic mediation and triangulation in father-child relationships

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Abstract

This study examined reports from 76 father-college student dyads on the extent to which each party openly drew God into dyadic conflict in an adaptive or maladaptive manner (i.e., theistic mediation and theistic triangulation, respectively) and associations of each strategy with relationship quality. Fathers and college students who reported more frequent use of theistic mediation reported better relationship quality, whereas more frequent use of theistic triangulation was associated with more frequent verbal aggression. Both fathers and students who reported higher levels of theistic mediation and triangulation also indicated greater importance of religion and spirituality in their lives. Further, college students', but not fathers' reports of theistic mediation provided unique variance toward parent-child relationship satisfaction after accounting for their own use of constructive conflict resolution strategies. These findings illuminate the unique role that spirituality and religion has in father-child dyads, which is scant in the social scientific literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-297
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Religious studies
  • Applied Psychology

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