Toward greater specificity in identifying associations among interparental aggression, child emotional reactivity to conflict, and child problems

Patrick T. Davies, Dante Cicchetti, Meredith J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined specific forms of emotional reactivity to conflict and temperamental emotionality as explanatory mechanisms in pathways among interparental aggression and child psychological problems. Participants of the multimethod, longitudinal study included 201 two-year-old children and their mothers who had experienced elevated violence in the home. Consistent with emotional security theory, autoregressive structural equation model analyses indicated that children's fearful reactivity to conflict was the only consistent mediator in the associations among interparental aggression and their internalizing and externalizing symptoms 1year later. Pathways remained significant across maternal and observer ratings of children's symptoms and with the inclusion of other predictors and mediators, including children's sad and angry forms of reactivity to conflict, temperamental emotionality, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1789-1804
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Volume83
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

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