Within-and between-family differences in cooperative and competitive coparenting

Alysia Y. Blandon, Meghan B. Scrimgeour, Cynthia A. Stifter, Kristin A. Buss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Coparenting, the coordination between adults in their parental roles, contributes to the functioning of multiple family subsystems. The ecological context model of coparenting posits that multiple factors, including contextual, marital, and child characteristics, influence coparenting behavior (Feinberg, 2003). To date, coparenting has primarily been considered a between-family construct, and the focus has been on examining the factors that account for differences in coparenting across families. There is very limited research exploring variations in coparenting within-families across contexts. To address this gap, the current study explores whether there is significant within-and between-family variation in coparenting. In addition, family, marital, and child correlates of both within-and between-family variation in coparenting are examined. Fifty-eight 2-parent families, drawn from a larger ongoing longitudinal study on children's emotional development, participated in this study. Parents and their children participated in a laboratory visit when children were 42-months-old that included 3 triadic family interaction tasks that were coded to assess cooperative and competitive coparenting, as well as child-centered behavior. In addition, children completed a computerized go/no-go task to assess their inhibitory control and parents completed questionnaires about their marital relationship quality. Results indicated that a substantial portion of the variance in coparenting occurred within families. In addition, the correlates of coparenting cooperation and competition differed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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