Perceived Interparental Conflict and Early Adolescents’ Friendships: The Role of Attachment Security and Emotion Regulation
- 1.2k Downloads
Although there is strong evidence for the effect of interparental conflict on adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems, little is known about the effect on the quality of adolescents’ relationships. The current study investigates the link between adolescents’ friendships and interparental conflict as reported by both parents and adolescents. It considers early adolescents’ emotion regulation ability and attachment security as mediators. The analysis is based on a longitudinal study with two waves separated by 12 months. The participants were 180 two-parent families and their adolescent children (50.5 % girls), the average age of the latter being 10.61 years (SD = 0.41) at the outset (Time 1). Binomial logistic regression analysis revealed that perceived interparental conflict increased the risk of instability in friendship relationships across the 1-year period. Structural equation modeling analysis indicated that the association between perceived interparental conflict and friendship quality was mediated by emotion regulation and attachment security. The discussion focuses on mechanisms whereby interparental conflict influences early adolescents’ friendship relationships.
KeywordsInterparental conflict Early adolescents’ friendships Emotion regulation Attachment security
This research was supported by grants (SNF 100013-116500/1; SNF 100014-132278/1) awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation to the first author. We thank the families who volunteered to participate in the study. We are also grateful to the three anonymous reviewers and the editor Roger J. R. Levesque for helpful suggestions on an earlier version.
- Arbuckle, J. L. (2007). Amos 6.0 user’s guide. Chicago: SPSS.Google Scholar
- Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss. Attachment (Vol. 1). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bukowski, W. M., Hoza, B., & Boivin, M. (1994). Measuring friendship quality during pre- and early-adolescence: The development and psychometric properties of the friendship qualities scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.Google Scholar
- Collins, W. A., & Steinberg, L. (2006). Adolescent development in interpersonal context. In N. Eisenberg, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Contreras, J. M., & Kerns, K. A. (2000). Emotional regulation processes: Explaining links between parent–child attachment and peer relationships. In K. A. Kerns, J. M. Contreras, & A. M. Neal-Barnett (Eds.), Family and peers. Linking two social worlds. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Davies, P. T., Harold, G. T., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Cummings, E. M. (2002). Child emotional security and interparental conflict. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 67(3), 521–535.Google Scholar
- Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., & Smith, C. L. (2004). Emotion-related regulation: Its conceptualization, relations to social functioning, and socialization. In R. Feldman & P. Philoppot (Eds.), The regulation of emotion (pp. 277–306). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Federal Statistical Office. (2011). Bildungsstand [Educational background]. Retrieved June 14, 2011 from http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/15/01/key/blank/01.htm.
- Gödde, M., & Walper, S. (2000). Konfliktstrategien in der Partnerschaft und in der Eltern-Kind-Beziehung [Conflict resolution styles and the parent–child–relationships]. In Paper presented at the 42nd congress of the German Association of Psychology, Jena, Germany.Google Scholar
- Gödde, M., & Walper, S. (2001). Elterliche Konflikte aus der Sicht von Kindern und Jugendlichen: Die deutsche Kurzfassung der children’s perception of interparental conflict scale (CPIC) [Children’s and adolescents’ perception of interparental conflict: The German short version of the children’s perception of interparental conflict scale]. Diagnostica, 47, 18–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grob, A., & Smolenski, C. (2005). Fragebogen zur Erhebung der Emotionsregulation bei Kindern und Jugendlichen (Feel-KJ) [Questionnaire for the assessment of children’s and adolescent’s emotion regulation]. Bern: Verlag Hans Huber.Google Scholar
- Harter, S. (1985). Manual for the self-perception profile for children. Denver, CO: University of Denver.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Lansford, J. E., Criss, M. M., Pettit, G. S., Dodge, K. A., & Bates, J. E. (2003). Friendship quality, peer group affiliation, and peer antisocial behavior as moderators of the link between negative parenting and adolescent externalizing behavior. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13, 161–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Parke, R. D., Kim, M., Flyr, M., McDowell, D. J., Simpkins, S. D., Killian, C. M., et al. (2001). Managing marital conflict: Links with children’s peer relationships. In J. H. Grych & F. D. Fincham (Eds.), Interparental conflict and child development (pp. 291–314). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (2006a). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. In N. Eisenberg, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Siffert, A., Schwarz B., & Stutz, M. (in press). Marital conflict and early adolescents’ self-evaluation: The role of parenting quality and early adolescents’ appraisals. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. doi: 10.1007/s10964-011-9703-1.
- Van de Vijver, F. J. R., & Leung, K. (1997). Methods and data analysis for cross-cultural research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar