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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202078 Find in a Library
Title: Moderators of Family Conflict and Children's Adjustment and Health (From The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Children, P 47-73, 2003, Robert A. Geffner, Robyn S. Igelman, and Jennifer Zellner, eds. -- See NCJ-202075)
Author(s): Stephanie M. Whitson; Mona El-Sheikh
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
Sale Source: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined children's emotion regulation and emotionality as moderating factors in the links between exposure to marital and parent-child conflict and children's emotional adjustment and physical health.
Abstract: A total of 64 children (31 boys and 33 girls) ages 6-11 participated in the study, along with their mothers. In a university laboratory, parents completed questionnaires. Physiological sensors were attached to the children as they listened to a 1-minute audio-taped argument between a male and female concerning issues such as visiting relatives. The argument was a verbal conflict with no indication of physical aggression. At the end of the session, a resolution to the argument was presented to ameliorate any negative effects on the children. After the audio-taped interactions, children completed the measures through interviews. Mothers completed the Conflict and Problem Solving Scale. Children reported the occurrence and frequency of various marital conflict strategies used by their parents, using an adapted version of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale-Couple Form. To assess parent-child conflict, mothers and children completed the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale. Children's emotion regulation was measured with the physiological sensors. Mothers also completed the Childhood Behavior Questionnaire, as well as a questionnaire on the child's health. The study found that emotion-regulation variables buffered children against some of the negative health, externalizing, and internalizing outcomes associated with exposure to both marital conflict and parent-child conflict. Higher levels of emotionality -- as denoted by affective intensity, autonomic reactivity, sadness, anger, and fear -- constituted vulnerability factors in the associations between family conflict and children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors, with more support for externalizing behaviors. The authors advise that the results of this study should be considered preliminary and interpreted with caution pending further clarification with larger and more diverse samples. 4 tables and 81 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Child development; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Domestic assault; Stress management
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