Positive Parenting and Parental Conflict: Contributions to Resilient Coparenting During Divorce

Emily Becher, Hyunjun Kim, Sarah E Cronin, Veronica Deenanath, Jenifer K McGuire, Ellie McCann, Sharon E Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the influence of positive parenting and parental conflict on the coparenting alliance. Background: Research indicates that child and family outcomes after divorce are affected by the quality of the coparenting relationship between parents, with many divorce education programs focusing on coparenting as a core programmatic component. Less is known about how positive parenting and parental conflict affect the coparenting alliance. Method: This study collected online survey data from a convenience sample of divorcing parents (N = 430). Participants completed measures of parenting, parental conflict, and coparenting alliance. Regression and simple slope analyses were performed with parental conflict and positive parenting as predictors of coparenting alliance. Results: Positive parenting and parenting conflict both predicted the coparenting alliance. Low levels of conflict predicted high levels of coparenting when positive parenting was high and moderate; however, conflict did not predict alliance when positive parenting was low. Conclusion: Parents who engaged in moderate to high positive parenting had the anticipated negative relationship between conflict and coparenting alliance, but this did not hold true for parents who engaged in below average positive parenting, suggesting that both parenting and conflict play a role in a resilient coparenting alliance. Implications: Divorcing parents' parenting skills may be important to consider when deciding on prevention and intervention efforts aimed at supporting their coparenting alliance. Therefore, divorce education programs may benefit from incorporating content related to positive parenting and parents with weaker parenting practices may need different types of intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-164
Number of pages15
JournalFamily relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Council on Family Relations


  • Conflict
  • coparenting
  • divorce
  • parenting


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