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Title: Inter-parental conflict, parent-child relationships and children's psychological adjustment : implications for the family-school interface
Author: Aitken, Jessica J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 9685
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2008
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The collective body of research in this thesis applies a process-oriented perspective to the investigation of family effects on children's psychological, social and school-based adjustment. Specifically, it investigates the role of children's cognitions relating to inter-parental and parent-child relationships and their symptoms of psychological distress (internalising symptoms, externalising problems) as mechanisms underlying links between inter-parental conflict, negative parenting and children's academic attainment. Using two distinct samples of families from the UK a systematic programme of analyses was conducted. First, the role of children's perceptions of harsh, rejecting parenting was assessed as a mechanism through which inter-parental conflict and parental hostility were related to children's behaviour problems, academic application and attainment in school. In order to integrate family and school influences, the moderating role of school support in the links between family influences and school outcomes was also examined in this study. Second, analyses were extended to consider the role of children's perceptions of the inter-parental and the parent-child relationship in linking hostility between parents (inter-parental conflict) to academic attainment. To clarify the nature of the relationships between indices of psychological adjustment (internalising symptoms, externalising problems) and academic attainment, these analyses also considered specific dimensions of psychological adaptation as mediators of links between child appraisals and academic adjustment. Finally, the importance of these appraisal processes in linking inter-parental conflict to children's adjustment during a time of recognised stress, the transition from primary to secondary school, was investigated. Taken together, these analyses highlight the role of children's appraisals in linking inter-parental conflict and parent-child relations to children's adjustment in the school setting. Collectively, this body of research provides a basis for making specific links between children's experiences of family life and their adjustment in the school context, presenting a systematic approach to investigating the family-school interface with implications discussed for parents, educators, practitioners and policy makers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available