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ERIC Number: EJ1165319
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Interparental Conflict and Children's Social Problems: Insecurity and Friendship Affiliation as Cascading Mediators
Davies, Patrick T.; Martin, Meredith J.; Cummings, E. Mark
Developmental Psychology, v54 n1 p83-97 Jan 2018
Although social difficulties have been identified as sequelae of children's experiences with interparental conflict and insecurity, little is known about the specific mechanisms underlying their vulnerability to social problems. Guided by emotional security theory, this study tested the hypothesis that children's emotional insecurity mediates associations between interparental conflict and their social difficulties by undermining their affiliative goals in best friendships. Participants included 235 families with the first of 5 measurement occasions over a 10-year period occurring when children were in kindergarten (mean age = 6 years). Findings from the lagged latent difference score analyses indicated that intensification of multi-method assessment of interparental conflict during the early school years predicted subsequent increases in children's emotional insecurity 5 years later in adolescence. In the latter part of the cascade, rises in emotional insecurity predicted decreases in adolescent friendship affiliation, which, in turn, were specifically associated with declines in social competence. The specificity of this cascade of changing processes in predicting social problems was supported by the robustness of the findings after the inclusion of static measures of each construct as predictors, parent-child relationship insecurity as a covariate, and increases in children's internalizing symptoms as an alternative outcome.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01MH57318; 2R01MH57318