Marital Conflict and the Quality of Young Children's Peer Play Behavior: The Mediating and Moderating Role of Parent-Child Emotional Reciprocity and Attachment Security

Eric W. Lindsey, Yvonne M. Caldera, Laura Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parent-child attachment security and dyadic measures of parent-child positive and negative emotional reciprocity were examined as possible mediators and moderators of the connection between marital conflict and children's peer play behavior. Eighty parents were observed in a laboratory play session with their 15- to 18-month-old child. Subsequently, at 36 months children were observed interacting with peers at their child care setting. Connections between marital conflict and children's positive peer interaction were mediated by mother-child attachment security, mother-child positive emotional reciprocity, and father-child negative emotional reciprocity. Connections between marital conflict and children's negative peer interaction were mediated by mother-child positive emotional reciprocity and father-child attachment security. Parent-child attachment security and negative emotional reciprocity emerged as important moderators of the connection between marital conflict and children's peer play behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-145
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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