Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Sara Sytsma Jordan

Advisor Department



Many studies have examined the relationship between destructive marital conflict and child externalizing behavior, however there are several gaps in the literature about constructive marital conflict and internalizing child behaviors. Also, where many experiments have focused on parenting practices as the mediator of this relationship, no known studies have examined child routines as a mediator. Thus, the current study aims to test child routines as a mediator between both constructive and destructive marital conflict, and child internalizing and externalizing behavior. Participants included 121 married mothers with children from ages 6-12 (M = 8.59, SD = 1.93). Data about the parent’s relationship and child were collected through the mother by way of questionnaires about marital conflict, child routines, and child behavior problems. After examining zero order correlations, multiple regression analyses were used in order to test child routines as the mediator between destructive marital conflict and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Although there was a decrease in magnitude of the direct effect for both internalizing and externalizing behavior, the indirect effects were marginally significant for the externalizing model according to the Sobel (1982) test of indirect effects. Although the mediation hypothesis was not fully supported, the present findings are considered in the context of extant literature and study limitations and future directions are discussed.


Honors College Award: Top Thesis