Parents' and Partners' Life Course and Family Experiences: Links with Parent-Child Relationships in Different Family Settings

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Abstract

Life course and current family factors associated with individual differences in parent-child relationships were investigated in a sample of 467 children from 192 families, including stepfather, single-parent, stepmother, and complex stepfamilies ; informants were fathers, mothers, and children. Both positive and negative dimensions of father-child and mother-child relationships were linked to earlier life course experiences of parent and of partner, to current family factors, and to the quality of partner's relationship with the child. The pattern of associations between the adults' life course experiences meant that children were at risk for a “double dose” of less affectionate relationships in families in which parents had experienced early adversities. The significance of biological relatedness, family setting, and child-partner relationships was highlighted.

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