Reciprocity in Parenting of Adolescents Within the Context of Marital Negativity

Thomas J. Schofield, Rand D. Conger, Monica J. Martin, Gary D. Stockdale, Katherine J. Conger, Keith F. Widaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The authors investigated the degree to which parents become more similar to each other over time in their childrearing behaviors. Mothers and fathers of 451 adolescents were assessed at 3 points in time, with 2-year lags between each assessment. Data on parent warmth, harshness, and monitoring were collected by parent self-report, adolescent report, and observer ratings of family interactions. After controlling for earlier levels of parenting, parent education, and adolescent deviancy, spouse's parenting and marital negativity were significant predictors of later parenting. Marital negativity tended to be a stronger predictor of fathering than mothering. For fathers, associations between spouse's parenting and later fathering were strongest in marriages characterized by low negativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1708-1722
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • childrearing practices
  • family systems theory
  • marital relations
  • parenting style


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