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J Fam Psychol. 2013 Oct;27(5):762-72. doi: 10.1037/a0034114. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Harsh, inconsistent parental discipline and romantic relationships: mediating processes of behavioral problems and ambivalence.

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1
School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University.

Abstract

According to the Development of Early Adult Romantic Relationships (DEARR) model (Bryant, C. M., & Conger, R. D. [2002]. Conger, R. D., Cui, M., Bryant, C. M., & Elder, G. H., Jr. [2000] interactional characteristics in the family of origin influence early adult romantic relationships by promoting or inhibiting the development of interpersonal competencies that contribute to relationship success in young adulthood. The present study uses the DEARR model as a general framework to help examine the long-term link between parental discipline practices in adolescence and young adult's interactions in the early years of marriage or cohabitation. Using prospective data from 288 target participants, their families, and their romantic partner, beginning when the targets were adolescents and continuing up to the fifth year of their marital or cohabiting relationships, we found empirical support for the DEARR model. Parental discipline practices in adolescence were associated with romantic relationship quality during the early years of marriage or cohabitation through processes in late adolescence and young adulthood. Specifically, harsh and inconsistent discipline practices were associated with greater attitudinal ambivalence toward parents in adolescence. Inconsistent discipline was also associated with higher risks of externalizing problems during late adolescence years. Externalizing problems and ambivalence toward parents predicted poorer relationship quality through aggressive behaviors and ambivalence toward a romantic partner during the early years of marriage or cohabitation. Implications for practitioners working with couples and families are discussed.

PMID:
24015709
DOI:
10.1037/a0034114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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