Prevention of the negative effects of marital conflict: A child-oriented program

Patricia M. Mitchell, Kathleen P. McCoy, E. Mark Cummings*, W. Brad Faircloth, Jennifer S. Cummings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A psycho-educational program for advancing children's coping skills and reactions to marital conflict was evaluated. Families with a child between the ages of 4 and 8 were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) parent program only; 2) parent and child program; or 3) self-study (control group). Parents in the parent-only and parent-child groups received the same psycho-educational program. Only children in the parent-child group received the child program which consisted of four visits in which children learned about marital conflict and family relationships; were taught about emotions and different levels of emotions; and were given tools for coping with conflict that would help them react in optimal ways for their development. Analyses suggested the promise of a child program for older children (ages 6-8) with regard to improved emotional security about marital conflict. However, consistent with other research, simply educating children about coping with marital conflict had minimal effects on outcomes associated with conflict between the parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsychology of Family Relationships
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781614707097
ISBN (Print)9781606922682
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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