Hostile Interactions in the Family: Patterns and Links to Youth Externalizing Problems

Terese Glatz, Melissa Lippold, Todd M. Jensen, Gregory M. Fosco, Mark E. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In line with family systems theory, we examined patterns of hostile interactions within families and their associations with externalizing problems among early-adolescent children. Using hostility scores based on observational data of six dyadic interactions during a triadic interaction (n = 462; i.e., child-to-mother, mother-to-child, child-to-father, father-to-child, mother-to-father, father-to-mother)—latent profile analysis supported three distinct profiles of hostility. The low/moderate hostile profile included families with the lowest levels of hostility across dyads; families in the mutual parent-child hostile profile scored higher on parent-child hostility, but lower on interparental hostility; the hostile parent profile showed higher levels of parent-to-child and interparental hostility, but lower child-to-parent hostility. Concerning links to youth outcomes, youth in the mutual parent-child hostile profile reported the highest level of externalizing problems, both concurrently and longitudinally. These results point to the importance of examining larger family patterns of hostility to fully understand the association between family hostility and youth adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-82
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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