Date of Completion

2017

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Psychological Science

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Dr. Alice Schermerhorn

Keywords

: interparental conflict, internalizing problems, children, cognition

Abstract

Extensive research has found that interparental conflict is associated with children’s adjustment and cognitive appraisals. This study aims to address two questions. First, does exposure to interparental conflict predict children’s immediate and long-term cognitions regarding interparental conflict? Second, do children’s immediate and long-term cognitions predict internalizing problems, such as anxiety and depression? Children ages 9- to 11-years-old (n = 96; 59 females, 1 gender-neutral) were shown video presentations of conflict between two actors portraying a married couple. Children evaluated the actors’ behaviors as good or bad, and these evaluations were used as a measure of their immediate cognitions regarding interparental conflict stimuli. These immediate cognitions were compared to measures of children’s long-term cognitions regarding interparental conflict, exposure to interparental conflict, and internalizing problems using bivariate correlation and simple regression analyses. In contrast to the hypotheses, more exposure to interparental conflict did not predict immediate or long-term cognitions, nor did immediate or long-term cognitions predict children’s internalizing problems. Implications for future studies comparing immediate and long-term cognitions are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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