Temperament and Interparental Conflict: The Role of Negative Emotionality in Predicting Child Behavioral Problems

Rochelle F. Hentges, Patrick T. Davies, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined temperamental irritability and fearful distress as moderators of the association between interparental conflict and child behavior problems in a disadvantaged sample of two hundred and one 2-year-old children and their mothers. Using a multimethod, prospective design, findings revealed that the relation between interparental conflict and changes in child behavior problems over a 1-year period were moderated by temperamental irritability. Consistent with differential susceptibility theory, children high in irritable temperament not only exhibited poorer outcomes in contexts of high interparental conflict but also better adjustment in contexts of low levels of interparental conflict. Mediated moderation analyses revealed that fearful reactivity partly accounted for the greater susceptibility of irritable children, particularly in explaining why they fared better when interparental conflict was low. Child Development

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1350
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Volume86
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

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