A Process Model of Adolescents' Triangulation into Parents' Marital Conflict: The Role of Emotional Reactivity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl A. Buehler, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This study examined adolescents' emotional reactivity to parents' marital conflict as a mediator of the association between triangulation and adolescents' internalizing problems in a sample of 2-parent families (N = 426). Four waves of annual, multiple-informant data were analyzed (youth ages 11–15 years). The authors used structural equation modeling and found that triangulation was associated with increases in adolescents' internalizing problems, controlling for marital hostility and adolescent externalizing problems. There also was an indirect pathway from triangulation to internalizing problems across time through youths' emotional reactivity. Moderating analyses indicated that the 2nd half of the pathway, the association between emotional reactivity and increased internalizing problems, characterized youth with lower levels of hopefulness and attachment to parents. The findings help detail why triangulation is a risk factor for adolescents' development and which youth will profit most from interventions focused on emotional regulation.

Additional Information

Journal of Family Psychology, 23(2), 167-180
Language: English
Date: 2009
adolescence, emotional reactivity, internalizing problems, interparental conflict, marital conflict

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