Children’s Responses to Interparental Conflict: A Meta-Analysis of Their Associations With Child Adjustment

Authors

  • Kimberly A. Rhoades

    Corresponding author
    1. Stony Brook University
      concerning this article should be addressed to Kimberly A. Rhoades, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500. Electronic mail may be sent to krhoades@notes.cc.sunysb.edu.
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  • Preparation of this article was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant 1R21MH068427. The author would like to thank Susan G. O’Leary, Tamara Del Vecchio, Carey Dowling, and Vincent Grande for their thoughtful reviews of the article and Erica Woodin for her assistance in coding the included articles for reliability purposes.

concerning this article should be addressed to Kimberly A. Rhoades, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500. Electronic mail may be sent to krhoades@notes.cc.sunysb.edu.

Abstract

A meta-analysis examined the relations between children’s adjustment and children’s cognitive, affective, behavioral, and physiological responses to interparental conflict. Studies included children between 5 and 19 years of age. Moderate effect sizes were found for the associations between cognitions and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems and self-esteem problems, negative affect and behavioral responses and internalizing behavior problems, and behavioral responses and self-esteem problems. Small to moderate effect sizes were found for the associations between cognitions and relational problems, negative affect and behavioral responses and externalizing behavior problems, and physiological reactions and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Effect sizes were, with 1 exception, larger for internalizing than for externalizing behavior problems. Age significantly moderated the majority of effect sizes.

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