The Effects of Parenting and Marital Functioning on Affect in Early Infancy

Master's Thesis


Previous studies involving pre-school and school-aged children found that marital conflict negatively impacts children’s socio-emotional development both directly and indirectly though parenting. Additionally, studies have found that parenting predicts numerous infant and child outcomes such as affect. Although research supports that marital functioning affects parent-child relationships during early childhood through adolescence, studies assessing how marital functioning and parenting influence socio-emotional development during infancy is scant. This longitudinal study examined associations between marital functioning, parenting, and infant affect over time for infant-mother and infant-father dyads during the Still-Face Paradigm (Tronick, Als, Adamson, Wise, & Brazelton, 1978). Structural equation modeling results indicated that for fathers, marital functioning related both directly and indirectly to changes in infant affect during the Still-Face; parenting also mediated relations between marital quality and infant affect. For mothers, sensitive parenting predicted changes in affect but marital functioning did not play a role in the dynamic in infant-mother dyads.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07112008-151506

Author Diane Marie Lickenbrock
Advisor Julia M. Braungart-Rieker
Contributor Thomas L. Whitman, Committee Member
Contributor Scott E. Maxwell, Committee Member
Contributor Julia M. Braungart-Rieker, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2008-07-08

Submission Date 2008-07-11
  • United States of America

  • parenting

  • marital functioning

  • infant affect

  • infancy

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.