Marital aggression harms child's emotional adjustment

Posted on September 24, 2014

Arguing and fighting is psychologically stressful for the adults caught in conflict; this study, published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, demonstrates the costs of that conflict for children in the household as well.

Combative parents may impair a child’s ability to recognize and control emotions. Prolonged exposure to aggression between parents powerfully shape children's emotional adjustment and long-term childhood poverty was also found to negatively influence child emotional regulation.

Research has demonstrated that exposure to conflict and violence in the home can shape children’s neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses. For instance, children who hear or witness their parents fighting may have trouble regulating their emotions in less risky situations, such as a classroom.

Prolonged exposure to aggression between parents was also linked to children’s ability to regulate their own feelings of sadness, withdrawal, and fear, placing them at greater risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression later on.

This study shines a bright light on the importance of supporting parents as they navigate the ups and downs of partnership or marriage.

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development, Parenting

Source material from Psych Central

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