How Marital Spats Affect Your Kids

Pregnancy & Postpartum

Marital Fight


HealthDay News

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Arguments between parents may damage their relationships with their children, a new study indicates.

Parents in more than 200 families were asked to make daily diary entries for 15 days. At the end of each day, mothers and fathers rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their children.

On days when parents reported conflict and tension in their marriage, their dealings with their children were also strained, according to the study recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

However, there were notable differences between mothers and fathers. Marital conflict affected mothers' relationships with their children for just one day.

"In fact, in that situation, moms appeared to compensate for their marital tension. Poor marital quality actually predicted an improvement in the relationship between the mom and the child. So, the first day's adverse spillover is short-lived for moms," study author Chrystyna Kouros, an assistant professor in the psychology department at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, said in a university news release.

It was a different story with fathers.

"In families where the mom was showing signs of depression, dads on the other hand let the marital tension spill over, with the result being poorer interactions with their child, even on the next day," Kouros said.

The study shows that the quality of their marriage affects each parent's ties with their children.

"We see from the findings that the marriage is a hub relationship for the family," Kouros said. "The quality of that relationship spills over into each parent's interactions with the child. So if mom and dad are fighting, it will show up initially -- and in some cases on the second day -- in a poorer quality relationship with their kids."

SOURCE: Southern Methodist University, Dallas, news release, August 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Published: August 2014

ADVERTISEMENT

Can Schools Require COVID-19 Vaccines for Students Now That Pfizer’s Shot Is Authorized for Kids 12 and Up?

The Food and Drug Administration has granted the first emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents. What comes next?

Prevention & Screenings

Treating Covid-19 Patients in the ICU Nearly Broke Me, But Now I’m Stronger for It

There were days I was so sad and afraid that I wanted to give up on nursing. Now I know I'll never quit.

Real Women, Real Stories

15 Minutes With Jessica Malaty Rivera

The epidemiologist and unlikely Instagram star shares some straight talk about Covid-19 and vaccines

Prevention & Screenings