In the literature, little attention has been paid to the specific impact of child-related versus adult-related inter-parental conflicts on children’s intrapersonal processes and adjustment. Aimed to advance knowledge on this topic, the cross-sectional study explores: 1) the predictive effects of the two forms of inter-parental conflicts on: a) children’s internalizing/externalizing behaviors and b) children’s cognitive appraisals, emotional distress, and triangulation; 2) the mediating role of children’s cognitive appraisals, emotional distress, and triangulation, in the association between adult-related vs child-related conflict and children’s adjustment. Seventy-five school-aged children and their parents completed measures of inter-parental conflict, cognitive, emotional and behavioral processes and child adjustment. The results indicated that: 1) higher levels of adult-related inter-parental conflict promoted children’s internalizing behaviors, through the mediation of perceived threat; 2) higher levels of child-related inter-parental discord promoted both children’s internalizing/externalzing behaviors, through the mediation of perceived threat and self-blame.
- Cognitive appraisals
- Inter-parental conflict
- Internalizing and externalizing behaviors