Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




A wealth of research has illustrated that negative parenting practices mediate the relation between destructive marital conflict and externalizing problems in children; however, the study of constructive marital conflict and adjustment problems in children is less developed. Research has also suggested that psychological control is related to children's behavior; however, previous research is unclear as to the specific relationship between marital conflict and children's internalizing and externalizing behavior. To address this gap, the present study examined positive and negative parenting practices and psychological control as mediators of constructive and destructive marital conflict and children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Married mothers of 121 children between the ages of 6 and 12 completed online and/or paper questionnaires measuring marital conflict, parenting practices, and child adjustment. Path analyses revealed several significant direct relationships between predictors and outcome variables. Destructive marital conflict was found to be a significant predictor of negative parenting practices, psychological control, children's internalizing behavior, and children's externalizing behavior. Path analysis revealed indirect relationships as well. Psychological control was found to partially mediate the relationships between destructive marital conflict and both children's externalizing and internalizing behavior.

Included in

Psychology Commons