Intraindividual differences in adolescent threat appraisals and anxiety associated with Interparental conflict

Leigha A. MacNeill*, Gregory M. Fosco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined within- and between-person associations among interparental conflict (IPC), threat appraisals, temperament, and anxiety to evaluate how these risk processes unfold at the daily level in adolescence. Background: Adolescence is a developmental period of increased risk for anxiety, and exposure to IPC in the home elevates this risk. Specifically, adolescents who perceive IPC as threatening are at particularly high risk for anxiety, yet less is known about how characteristics of the adolescent (temperamental effortful control and dispositional levels of anxiety), as well as characteristics of the family (usual IPC), may temper this risk pathway. Method: The sample included 151 adolescents and their caregivers who completed baseline surveys and 21 daily surveys. Longitudinal mixed models were used to test within- and between-person associations between IPC and threat appraisals, and threat appraisals and anxious mood, including moderators of effortful control, dispositional anxiety, and usual IPC. Results: On days when IPC was higher than usual adolescents perceived more threat, and on days when adolescents perceived more threat they had higher levels of anxious mood. Within-person links between IPC and threat appraisals were moderated by usual IPC and adolescent dispositional anxiety levels. The within-person link between situational threat and anxious mood was moderated by dispositional anxiety levels. Conclusion: The results underscore the importance of considering individual differences in within-person effects of IPC and threat appraisals on adolescent daily anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-186
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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