Children’s Responses to Everyday Marital Conflict: The Influence of Marital Aggression

Master's Thesis


This study examined parents’ past marital aggression as a moderator of children’s immediate responses to everyday marital conflict. Also, links between history of marital aggression and parents’ everyday marital conflict expressions were examined. Families participated in a laboratory session, in which parents discussed an everyday topic of disagreement. Children watched their parents’ discussion and provided emotional, behavioral, and cognitive reactions. Results suggested couples with a history of marital aggression use less constructive, more destructive conflict tactics, and display less positive and more negative emotions during everyday marital disagreements. Children’s specific immediate responding to marital conflict was predicted by parents’ conflict tactics and emotions. Moreover, children’s immediate responses were moderated by parents’ history of marital aggression: children whose parents had a history of marital aggression were more sensitive to parents’ use of constructive conflict tactics and positive emotions. Implications of these results for prevention and intervention programs are discussed.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07152005-112609

Author Chrystyna D. Kouros
Advisor Darcia Narvaez
Contributor E. Mark Cummings, Committee Member
Contributor David Smith, Committee Member
Contributor Darcia Narvaez, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2005-07-11

Submission Date 2005-07-15
  • United States of America

  • marital conflict

  • child adjustment

  • marital aggression

  • family processes

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Access Rights Open Access
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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