The influence of parents' marital quality on parent-adult child intimacy: the role of the family expressiveness and relationship attributions
Allen, Melissa Sue
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This study investigated the relationship between parents' marital conflict and parent-adult child intimacy. Variables that might moderate the impact parents' marital conflict had on parent-adult child intimacy were also examined. Those variables were family expressiveness, attributions for parents' behavior, academic stress, and gender. Data was collected from undergraduate college students at a southwestern university. Some hypotheses were supported. Marital conflict was not negatively associated with mother-daughter intimacy when high positive family expressiveness was also reported. Negative attributions for parents' behavior seemed to increase the likelihood that parent-adult child intimacy would be negatively impacted by high marital conflict. However, if daughters reported negative attributions for mothers' behavior than high marital conflict was not negatively associated with father-daughter intimacy. When all direct effect variables were entered, marital conflict was no longer significantly related to father-daughter intimacy. Father-son and mother-son intimacy was more likely to be significantly related to parents' marital conflict, than mother-daughter and father-daughter intimacy. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.