Interparental Conflict on Italian Adolescent Adjustment: The Role of Insecurity within the Family

Silvia Donato, Daniela Barni, Aryanne D. De Silva, Mengyu M. Gao, Laura E. Miller-Graff, E. Mark Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite its importance, limited research has examined mechanisms underpinning how interparental conflict affects adolescents in Europe. Using a sample of 141 Italian families (mothers, fathers, and adolescents, Mage = 17.25 years, SD = 0.64), this study explores whether three types of adolescents’ emotional insecurity, which describes adolescents’ vulnerability to conflict, play a role in the association between interparental conflict and adolescents’ adjustment. Participants completed questionnaires related to adolescents’ conflict exposure, adjustment, and emotional insecurity in the parent-adolescent, interparental, and family relationships. As hypothesized, indirect associations were observed involving adolescents’ emotional insecurity in the parent-adolescent and interparental relationships. Surprisingly, the indirect association involving emotional insecurity within the interparental relationship rather than within the family emerged the strongest indirect association of the three types of emotional insecurity. These effects, however, were indistinguishable from the indirect effects of insecurity about the parent-adolescent relationship. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-692
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Culture
  • Emotional security
  • Family Processes
  • Interparental Conflict

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