Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 519–530 | Cite as

Co-parenting Mediates the Influence of Marital Satisfaction on Child Adjustment: The Conditional Indirect Effect by Parental Empathy

  • Elena CamisascaEmail author
  • Sarah Miragoli
  • Paola Di Blasio
  • Mark Feinberg
Original Paper


This study investigated the mediational role of co-parenting in the association between marital satisfaction and child adjustment, by exploring the conditional indirect effect by parental empathy. Using a sample of 101 Italian father-mother dyads with school-aged children, we administered to parents a series of measures in order to assess marital satisfaction, co-parenting, parents’ empathic skills and children’s adjustment. We computed conditional indirect analyses in order to analyze the mediational role of co-parenting in the associations between marital satisfaction and child adjustment. Consequently, we computed a moderated mediated model in order to explore if mothers’ and fathers’ empathic skills moderated the mediating role of co-parenting. Our findings showed that lower levels of co-parenting mediated the associations between mothers and fathers marital dissatisfaction and children’s behavioral problems. Results also showed that this effect was moderated by parent’s empathic skills, such that mediation is stronger for those with lower empathic competencies (moderated mediation).


Marital satisfaction Co-parenting Empathic skills Child adjustment Conditional indirect effect Children 


Author Contributions

EC: designed and executed the study, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. SM: collaborated with the design, collecting data and of their analyses, and writing of the study. PDB: aided in designing the study and wrote part of the discussion. MF: collaborated with the design and provided feedback on the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

In the treatment of the subjects, we have complied with APA and AIP (Associazione Italiana di Psicologia), ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of the Catholic University of Milan in April 2013.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversità Telematica eCampusNovedrateItaly
  2. 2.C.R.I.d.e.e., Psychology DepartmentCatholic University of the Sacred HeartMilanItaly
  3. 3.The Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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