Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marital tension between Mom and Dad can harm each parent's bond with child

Date:
August 5, 2014
Source:
Southern Methodist University
Summary:
Children suffer when mom and dad have problems in their marriage, according to a new study. Dads, especially, let negative emotions and tension from their marriage spill over and harm the bond with their child, says a psychologist. Conversely, moms in poor quality marriages sometimes compartmentalized marital tension and improved the relationship with their child.

Parents having an argument in front of the children. Children suffer consequences, too, when mom and dad argue or have tension in their relationship, experts warn. (stock image)
Credit: Monkey Business / Fotolia

Children suffer consequences, too, when mom and dad argue or have tension in their relationship, experts warn.

Dads, in particular, let the negative emotions and tension from their marriage spill over and harm the bond they have with their child, says a new study's lead author, psychologist Chrystyna D. Kouros, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

The findings drive home the conclusion that the quality of a marriage is closely tied to each parent's bond with their child, Kouros said.

The findings are based on data provided by 203 families, where family members completed daily diary entries for 15 days. Moms and dads rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their child at the end of each day.

The authors found that when parents reported tension and conflict in their marriage, simultaneously that day's interactions with their child were peppered with tension and conflict.

Even so, distinct differences also were identified in moms and dads.

In situations where the quality of the marriage was low, moms appeared to compartmentalize the problems they were having in their marriage by the next day.

"In fact, in that situation, moms appeared to compensate for their marital tension," Kouros said. "Poor marital quality actually predicted an improvement in the relationship between the mom and the child. So, the first day's adverse spillover is short lived for moms."

That was not the case for dads, the researchers found.

"In families where the mom was showing signs of depression, dads on the other hand let the marital tension spill over, with the result being poorer interactions with their child, even on the next day," she said.

Couple's marriage is a hub or anchor for the entire family

Marriage quality, the authors concluded, affects the whole family, said Kouros, an assistant professor in SMU's Department of Psychology.

"We see from the findings that the marriage is a hub relationship for the family," she said. "The quality of that relationship spills over into each parent's interactions with the child. So if mom and dad are fighting, it will show up initially -- and in some cases on the second day -- in a poorer quality relationship with their kids."

The authors reported their findings in the scientific article "Spillover between marital quality and parent-child relationship quality: Parental depressive symptoms as moderators," published recently in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Co-authors of the research were Lauren M. Papp, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marcie C. Goeke-Morey, The Catholic University of America, and E. Mark Cummings, University of Notre Dame.

The research was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Southern Methodist University. The original article was written by Margaret Allen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Southern Methodist University. "Marital tension between Mom and Dad can harm each parent's bond with child." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805132254.htm>.
Southern Methodist University. (2014, August 5). Marital tension between Mom and Dad can harm each parent's bond with child. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805132254.htm
Southern Methodist University. "Marital tension between Mom and Dad can harm each parent's bond with child." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805132254.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins