Exposure to both physical and psychological stress has a negative impact on one’s regulatory processing, and stress within the family context may be especially impactful on emotional regulation and development. Early experiences of exposure to parent marital conflict or parent relationship discord, such as divorce, are stressors often associated with poor emotional well-being, including emotion dysregulation, in both children and adults. However, the influence of these experiences on regulatory development is complex as there are many factors that impact the pathways of risk (e.g., parenting behaviors, child perceptions). Furthermore, emotion regulation has not been well-studied in adolescence in the context of parental relations. Because adolescence is a period of rapid growth that involves many important developmental tasks, including the shaping of regulatory processes and emotional control, the current study examined the influence of marital conflict on adolescent emotion regulation. A total of 45 parent-adolescent dyads completed online questionnaires regarding family experiences (i.e., conflict, parenting, etc.) and emotion regulation difficulties. Results demonstrated that marital conflict was significantly associated with children’s perceptions of intense and frequent conflict. Marital conflict was not significantly directly associated with adolescent emotion regulation. Indirect pathways from martial conflict to adolescent emotion regulation via parenting behaviors and children’s perceptions were also not supported. Findings suggest the importance of examining the influence of other family relationships and exploring additional assessments of emotion regulation.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Emotions in adolescence; Marital conflict--Psychological aspects; Child development; Families--Psychological aspects
Experimental Psychology (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Colton, Kassidy, "Early Exposure to Marital Conflict and Adolescent Emotion Regulation" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus