Abstract/Details

Learning how to fight: Connections between conflict resolution patterns in marital and sibling relationships


2007 2007

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Abstract (summary)

Understanding the development and expression of conflict management styles within sibling relationships has important implications for identifying interventions for fostering children's social competence. The present study investigated the relationship between parents' early and concurrent marital conflict resolution styles and their first-grade child's use of constructive and destructive conflict management strategies with their siblings. Using both Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1969) and Family Systems Theory (Minuchin, 1985), the current study explored parents' styles of marital conflict resolution as predictors of children's observed sibling conflict strategies. Participants included 50 mothers and fathers, their first-grade child and next younger sibling, within a 3.5 year range. Families from the project were drawn from a larger longitudinal study investigating the transition to parenthood in 153 working-class, dual-earner couples. Self-report scales measuring marital conflict resolution (e.g., Positive Problem Solving, Engagement, Withdrawal, and Compliance) were completed by each parent across the transition to parenthood and five years later when their oldest child entered the first grade. At a 5-year follow-up home visit, parents rated their oldest child's behavior toward their sibling across three dimensions (e.g., Positive Involvement, Conflict and Rivalry, Avoidance). In addition, videotaped free-play sibling observations were conducted to assess sibling positive and negative connectedness as well as sibling conflict resolution styles. Observational data revealed that fathers' use of compliance strategies was associated with siblings' greater likelihood of being classified as using only destructive strategies and engaging in fewer conflicts. Mothers' conflict styles were more strongly implicated in parent reports of sibling behavior. Parents' conflict resolution styles were most linked to negative sibling interactions, rather than positive involvement. The findings highlight the balance of destructive marital conflict styles relative to constructive styles in understanding parent reports of the sibling relationship. Future research should consider particular couple patterns of conflict styles as potential influences on sibling conflict behaviors.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Social psychology;
Psychotherapy
Classification
0451: Social psychology
0622: Psychotherapy
Identifier / keyword
Psychology, Conflict resolution, Marital relationships, Sibling relationships, Siblings
Title
Learning how to fight: Connections between conflict resolution patterns in marital and sibling relationships
Author
Turner, Elizabeth Kristine
Number of pages
140
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2007
School code
0118
Source
DAI-B 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549330158
Advisor
Perry-Jenkins, Maureen
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Psychology
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3289206
ProQuest document ID
304839002
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304839002
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