Constructive interparental conflict and child adjustment in the Chinese context: A moderated mediation model of emotional security and disintegration avoidance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Grounded in emotional security theory and a dualistic model of harmony, the present study tested a moderated mediation model of disintegration avoidance, interparental conflict, and emotional security associated with child adjustment. A total of 70 Chinese parents completed a set of questionnaires on parents’ disintegration avoidance (i.e., a dimension of harmony), constructive interparental conflict, and children’s emotional security, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems (32 girls and 38 boys; Mage= 4.83 years old; SDage = 1.90). Multi-group path analysis was conducted to examine the mediating role of children’s emotional security between constructive interparental conflict and child adjustment between parents with high vs. low disintegration avoidance. Significant pathways emerged to suggest emotional security as a mediator when parents reported a high level of disintegration avoidance. Supplementary analysis with disintegration avoidance as a continuous moderator suggested that disintegration avoidance and constructive conflict interactively predicted emotional security. Post-hoc simple slopes analysis further revealed that the relation between constructive interparental conflict and emotional security had a positive trend when disintegration avoidance was high. The findings enhanced our knowledge on the mediating role of emotional security in the context of Chinese culture. Evidence informs translational research in promoting constructive interparental conflict and emotional security as assets of child adjustment, particularly in families experiencing a high level of disintegration avoidance. Copyright © 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Early online date05 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 05 Nov 2020

Citation

Cheung, R. Y. M. (2020). Constructive interparental conflict and child adjustment in the Chinese context: A moderated mediation model of emotional security and disintegration avoidance. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10826-020-01851-w

Keywords

  • Constructive interparental conflict
  • Disintegration avoidance
  • Emotional security
  • Externalizing problems
  • Internalizing problems

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