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Interparental Conflict and Parenting Behaviors: A Meta-Analytic Review


  • Ambika Krishnakumar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ambika Krishnakumar (Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor in Child and Family Studies Department at Syracuse University. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. Her scholarly interests are in the areas of marital quality, parenting, youth adjustment, ethnicity, and poverty.
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  • Cheryl Buehler

    1. Cheryl Buehler (Ph.D.) is Professor in the Child and Family Studies Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her doctoral degree in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarly interests are marital conflict, parenting, divorce, multiple risk environments for children and adolescents, and the etiology of youth problem behaviors.
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*Address correspondence to: A. Krishnakumar, Child and Family Studies, 202 Slocum Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1280; e-mail:


The purpose of this study is to examine the association between interparental conflict and parenting using meta-analytic review techniques. One-hundred and thirty-eight effect sizes from 39 studies are analyzed. The overall average weighted effect size is −.62, indicating a moderate association and support for the spillover hypothesis. The parenting behaviors most impacted by interparental conflict are harsh discipline and parental acceptance. Several moderating effects for subject and method characteristics are significant.