Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 1024–1034 | Cite as

Youth Emotional Reactivity, Interparental Conflict, Parent Hostility, and Worrying Among Children with Substance-Abusing Parents

  • Michelle L. Kelley
  • Tyler D. White
  • Robert J. Milletich
  • Brittany F. Hollis
  • Brianna N. Haislip
  • Erin K. Heidt
  • Cassie A. Patterson
  • James M. Henson
Original Paper


The present study examined whether emotional reactivity mediated the association between interparental violence, parental hostility, and children’s worrying among 90 youth living with substance-abusing parents. Children completed measures of security and anxiety. Mothers and fathers’ completed measures of violence perpetrated toward their partners and general hostility. Results of a Bayesian mediation model revealed indirect effects such that after controlling for other variables in the model, fathers’ hostility was associated with greater emotional reactivity, which in turn was associated with children’s reports of worrying. The indirect effects of mothers’ hostility, parents’ interparental violence, and child age on children’s reports of worrying via children’s emotional reactivity were not statistically significant. Results suggest that fathers’ hostility is associated with children’s reports of worrying among children residing with a substance-abusing parent via associations with children’s emotional reactivity to parental conflict.


Interparental violence Parent hostility Children’s anxiety Children of substance-abusing parents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle L. Kelley
    • 1
  • Tyler D. White
    • 1
  • Robert J. Milletich
    • 1
  • Brittany F. Hollis
    • 1
  • Brianna N. Haislip
    • 1
  • Erin K. Heidt
    • 1
  • Cassie A. Patterson
    • 1
  • James M. Henson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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