ERIC Number: EJ813492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Inter-Parental Conflict and Children's Academic Attainment: A Longitudinal Analysis
Harold, Gordon T.; Aitken, Jessica J.; Shelton, Katherine H.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v48 n12 p1223-1232 Dec 2007
Background: Previous research suggests a link between inter-parental conflict and children's psychological development. Most studies, however, have tended to focus on two broad indices of children's psychological adaptation (internalizing symptoms and externalizing problems) in considering the effects of inter-parental conflict on children's development. The present longitudinal study extends this body of research by considering the impact of inter-parental conflict on children's low academic attainment among a sample of 230 schoolchildren (age 11-13 years) living in the United Kingdom. Method: Controlling for teacher reports of children's initial levels of aggression (Time 1), the proposed theoretical model linked parent and child reports of inter-parental conflict at Time 1 (1999) to children's perceptions of negative parent-child relations, appraisals of self-blame for marital conflict and teacher reports of children's aggressive behavior at Time 2 (2000), which in turn were linked to children's performance on standardized academic tests (English, Math, Science) at Time 3 (2001). Structural equation modeling was used to test all hypothesized relations in the proposed theoretical model. Results: Support was found for the role of children's self-blaming attributions for parents' marital arguments, not negative parenting behavior, as a mechanism through which variation in their academic attainment is explained. Conclusions: Contrary to the focus emphasized in most current family and school-based intervention programs, findings suggest that the attributional processes engendered in children who live in households marked by high levels of inter-parental conflict and hostility have important implications for their long-term academic success.
Descriptors: Intervention, Aggression, Structural Equation Models, Conflict, Parent Child Relationship, Foreign Countries, Psychology, Family Relationship, Educational Attainment, Child Development, Longitudinal Studies, Standardized Tests, Academic Achievement, Family Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom