The role of emotional dysregulation in the association between family-of-origin conflict and romantic relationship maintenance

Matthew A. Ogan, J. Kale Monk, Rachel B. Thibodeau-Nielsen, Amber Vennum, Kristy Soloski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Family-of-origin systems are consequential for the emotional well-being of offspring. These influences are likely to last into adulthood, affecting adult children's romantic relationships. The mechanisms by which family-of-origin environments influence adult romantic relationships are not fully understood. In a sample of 118 different-sex couples, we tested the effects of negative family-of-origin conflict on adult offspring's provision of relationship maintenance to their romantic partner using structural equation modeling. We evaluated emotional dysregulation as a mediator of this effect, using two measures of emotional dysregulation. Results from structural models demonstrated a negative effect of family-of-origin conflict on the provision of relationship maintenance via higher levels of emotional dysregulation. Our results highlight emotional self-regulation as a valuable intervention point for couple therapists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-44
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Bowen family systems theory
  • conflict
  • differentiation of self
  • emotion regulation
  • family-of-origin
  • relationship maintenance
  • self-regulation

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