EXPLORING CHILDREN'S EXTERNALIZING BEHAVIORS AS A RESULT OF DESTRUCTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE METHODS OF PARENTAL CONFLICT
AuthorWIRTH, ABIGAIL DRU
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe association between constructive and destructive conflict and children’s (age three) externalizing behaviors was examined utilizing the Building Strong Families (BSF) data set. The study included 3,328 mothers and 3,148 fathers reporting on conflict behavior, and mother’s reports on children’s externalizing behaviors. My hypotheses indicated that the more constructive conflict, the less externalizing behaviors exhibited while the more destructive conflict, the more externalizing behaviors shown by the children. The majority of the literature demonstrated similar results to my hypotheses, however primarily focusing on mother’s conflict rather than the father’s conflict methods. Similarly, there was little focus on constructive conflict in the literature. Younger children (age three) were of interest for this study due to the lack of research involving these variables and this age group. The specific emotions theory was utilized to shape and inform my hypotheses. The results for this study supported my hypothesis concerning destructive conflict, but rejected the other discussing constructive conflict. Mothers’ correlations of conflict methods with externalizing behaviors were statistically significant while the fathers’ correlations were not. These analyses indicate further research of constructive conflict and its effects on younger children.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Family Studies and Human Development