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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1988 Feb;16(1):97-109.

Generalized dysfunction in clinic and nonclinic families: a comparative analysis.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40506-0044.

Abstract

This study examined the relationship of self-reported marital distress to parental descriptions of emotional or behavioral disturbance of their children using two multidimensional measures of relationship satisfaction and personality functioning in children and adolescents. Data were collected from three independent samples of couples in marital therapy, parents of psychiatrically hospitalized children or adolescents, and nonclinic couples from the general population. Using a split-half cross-validation procedure, parents' reports of their children's emotional or behavioral difficulties were consistently and positively related to their descriptions of dissatisfaction with the parent-child relationship and with reports of spousal conflict over childrearing, but not with measures of global marital distress or spousal conflict in areas not related to childrearing. Discrepancies in spouses' descriptions of their marriage or child were unrelated to individual measures of relationship functioning or child/adolescent psychopathology. Implications for clinical assessment and future research are discussed.

PMID:
3361034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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