Lynne Vernon-Feagans, Martha J. Cox, Clancy Blair, Peg Burchinal, Linda Burton, Keith Crnic, Ann Crouter, Patricia Garrett-Peters, Mark Greenberg,Stephanie Lanza, W. Roger Mills-Koonce, Debra Skinner, Cynthia Stifter, Emily Werner, and Michael Willoughby.
Mother-Grandmother Conflict, Negative Parenting, and Young Children's Social Development in Multigenerational Families
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
© 2012 by the National Council on Family Relations
Volume 61, Issue 5, pages 864–877, December 2012
How to Cite
Barnett, M. A., Mills-Koonce, W. R., Gustafsson, H., Cox, M. and Family Life Project Key Investigators (2012), Mother-Grandmother Conflict, Negative Parenting, and Young Children's Social Development in Multigenerational Families. Family Relations, 61: 864–877. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00731.x
Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 100 E. Franklin St., Campus Box 8115, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8115.
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Davie Hall, Campus Box 3270, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270.
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
- early childhood;
- multigenerational families;
- parent-child relationships;
- relationship conflict
Mutigenerational households that include grandmothers and adult mothers caring for grandchildren are increasingly common. The influence, however, of mother-grandmother relationship quality and grandmothers' parenting on grandchildren's social development remains largely unexplored in these three-generation households. This study examines linkages among caregiver depressive symptoms, mother-grandmother verbal conflict, observed parenting, and 36-month-old grandchildren's problem and prosocial behaviors among a subsample from the Family Life Project (N = 85) consisting of economically disadvantaged multigenerational families. The findings suggest that mother-grandmother relationship conflict presents a risk to children's behavior directly and indirectly via mothers' negative parenting behaviors. Mothers seem to be more influenced by the mother-grandmother relationship than grandmothers. These results highlight the importance of including mother-grandmother conflict in mutigenerational families in family assessments and interventions.