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      Children’s Cognitive and Emotional Processes in Adult Versus Child-Related Inter-Parental Conflicts


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          In the literature, little attention has been paid to the specific impact of child-related versus adult-related inter-parental conflicts on children’s intrapersonal processes and adjustment. Aimed to advance knowledge on this topic, the cross-sectional study explores: 1) the predictive effects of the two forms of inter-parental conflicts on: a) children’s internalizing/externalizing behaviors and b) children’s cognitive appraisals, emotional distress, and triangulation; 2) the mediating role of children’s cognitive appraisals, emotional distress, and triangulation, in the association between adult-related vs child-related conflict and children’s adjustment. Seventy-five school-aged children and their parents completed measures of inter-parental conflict, cognitive, emotional and behavioral processes and child adjustment. The results indicated that: 1) higher levels of adult-related inter-parental conflict promoted children’s internalizing behaviors, through the mediation of perceived threat; 2) higher levels of child-related inter-parental discord promoted both children’s internalizing/externalzing behaviors, through the mediation of perceived threat and self-blame.

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          Most cited references41

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          Measuring Dyadic Adjustment: New Scales for Assessing the Quality of Marriage and Similar Dyads

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            Assessing marital conflict from the child's perspective: the children's perception of interparental conflict scale.

            Guided by Grych and Fincham's theoretical framework for investigating the relation between interparental conflict and child adjustment, a questionnaire was developed to assess children's views of several aspects of marital conflict. The Children's Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale (CPIC) was initially examined in a sample of 222 9-12-year-old children, and results were cross-validated in a second sample of 144 similarly aged children. 3 factor analytically derived subscales (Conflict Properties, Threat, Self-Blame) demonstrated acceptable levels of internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The validity of the Conflict Properties scale was supported by significant relations with parent reports of conflict and indices of child adjustment; the Threat and Self-Blame scales correlated with children's responses to specific conflict vignettes. The CPIC thus appears to be a promising instrument for assessing perceived marital conflict, and several issues regarding its interpretation are discussed.
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              A Multi-Domain Self-Report Measure of Coparenting.

              OBJECTIVE: This study reports the psychometric properties of a multi-domain measure of the coparenting relationship in dual-parent families. METHOD: 152 couples participating in a transition to parenthood study completed the Coparenting Relationship Scale and additional measures during home visits at child age 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years. RESULTS: Psychometric and construct validity assessments indicated the measure performed satisfactorily. The 35-item measure demonstrated good reliability and strong stability. Subscales measuring theoretically and empirically important aspects of coparenting (coparenting agreement, coparenting closeness, exposure of child to conflict, coparenting support, coparenting undermining, endorsement of partner's parenting, and division of labor) demonstrated good reliability as well. A 14-item brief overall measure showed very strong associations with the overall measure. Relations of the full scale with a measure of social desirability were weak, and the full scale was positively associated with positive dimensions of the dyadic couple relationship (love, sex/romance, couple efficacy) and inversely associated with negative dimensions (conflict, ineffective arguing)-as expected. CONCLUSIONS: This initial examination of the Coparenting Relationship Scale suggests that it possesses good psychometric properties (reliability, stability, construct validity, and inter-rater agreement), can be flexibly administered in short and long forms, and is positioned to promote further conceptual and methodological progress in the study of coparenting.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Psychol
                Eur J Psychol
                Europe's Journal of Psychology
                December 2019
                19 December 2019
                : 15
                : 4
                : 843-857
                [a ]Università Telematica e-Campus, Novedrate, Italy
                [b ]C.R.I.d.e.e., Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
                [3]University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]Università Telematica e-Campus, Via Isimbardi 10, Novedrate, Italy. elena.camisasca@ 123456uniecampus.it

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 08 March 2018
                : 30 October 2018
                Research Reports

                inter-parental conflict,cognitive appraisals,distress,triangulation,internalizing and externalizing behaviors,children


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