The authors examined mothers' and fathers' avoidance and attacking conflict-resolution strategies in the marriage and their depressive symptoms as they related to children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors. A nonclinical community sample of 51 families and their children's 1st-grade teachers (N = 41) participated. Both mothers and teachers completed a behavior-problem checklist in order to evaluate the incidence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors in the children. Correlational statistics revealed significant associations between parents' avoidance and attacking strategies and their depressive symptoms. Also, parents' use of avoidance was related to more internalizing behaviors in the children. When hierarchical regression analyses were used to examine the contributions of the parents' attributes to children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors, mothers' avoidance and an interaction between mothers' and fathers' avoidance were identified as significant predictors of children's internalizing behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies