Role of Marital Conflict and Specific Aspects of Parenting in Predicting Adolescent’s Psychological Adjustment of Spanish Adolescents

Olga Vlachynská, María del Mar González, Ana López Jímenez, Lenka Lacinová, Stanislav Ježek


The aim of this study was to examine the family process model of adolescent psychological adjustment in a sample of 12 to 18 year-old 456 Spanish adolescents (M = 14.61; SD = 0.53; 56 % of females). The self-report scales administered to the adolescents included a short version of Children’s Per­ception of Interparental Conflict Scale, six subscales of Youth Self Report, and two subscales of Child’s Reports of Parental Behavior Inventory. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the family-system-theory based model. This model suggested that 1) adolescent perception of marital conflict affects adolescent psychological adjustment; 2) this association can be explained by adolescent perception of parental hostility and harsh punishment by both parents, and 3) the negative association can be buffered by adolescent perception of parental support and open communication. The results show that parental hostility and harsh punishment by both parents partially mediated the association between marital conflict and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors in a simple mediation model. Next, parental support and open communication partially buffered the relation between marital conflict and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors in a simple mediation model. However, using a complex model of structural equation modeling we did not find support for the model where parenting mediates the relationship between marital conflict and adolescent adjustment. Our findings do not support the usual direction of the spillover hypothesis but indicate that parenting is linked to marital conflict and both of them play an important role in adolescent adjustment.


adolescent, marital conflict, parenting, psychological adjustment, spillover hypothesis


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