Interparental conflict and internalizing symptoms: the moderating role of positive peer relationships

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Niloofar Fallah (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan P. Keane

Abstract: This study examined the roles of peer acceptance and friendship quality as moderators of the association between interparental conflict and internalizing symptoms in a longitudinal sample of elementary school children who were initially recruited in early childhood. Ratings of interparental conflict, peer acceptance and friendship quality were obtained from 103 parents and children at age seven (middle childhood), while child-reported internalizing symptoms were assessed at age 10 (pre-adolescence). Interparental conflict in middle childhood was not associated with internalizing symptoms during preadolescence for boys. However, girls who were highly accepted by peers in middle childhood were less likely to experience internalizing symptoms in pre-adolescence. Results suggested that the relationship between conflict and internalizing symptoms was attenuated for girls with high levels of peer acceptance. Additionally, girls who were both highly accepted by peers and had high quality friendships experienced the lowest levels of internalizing symptoms. Discussion of results highlights the importance of examining peer relations as a way to attenuate internalizing problems for girls.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Internalizing symptoms, Peer relationships, Youth
Child psychology.
Parent and child $x Psychological aspects.
Social acceptance $x Psychological aspects.
Social interaction in children.

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