Interparental incongruence in differential treatment of adolescent siblings: Links with marital quality

Marni L. Kan, Susan Marie McHale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


This study examined longitudinal links between incongruence in mothers' versus fathers' differential treatment of adolescent-age siblings and parents' marital quality. Multilevel models including 200 families, over four waves, spaced across 6 years tested whether youth perceptions of incongruence in differential intimacy and conflict predicted trajectories of mothers' and fathers' reports of marital conflict and satisfaction and vice versa. Analyses showed that changes in interparental incongruence covaried longitudinally with changes in marital quality and that these linkages became stronger over time. These results extend previous cross-sectional research with younger children and are consistent with theories regarding family alliances and coparenting. Discussion focuses on the reciprocal relations between incongruence in parenting and marital quality as an important aspect of family systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-479
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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