Within-family conflict behaviors as predictors of conflict in adolescent romantic relations

Nancy Darling, Catherine L. Cohan, Andrew Burns, Louisa Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Continuity in conflict behaviors from (a) adolescents' behavior with parents and their behavior with romantic partners and (b) from parents' marriage to adolescents' romantic relationships were examined in a sample of 58 mother-father-adolescent families and the adolescents' romantic partners. The social relations model was used to analyze within-family reports of own and partner conflict behavior. Mother-father consensus about adolescents' use of physical aggression was associated with romantic partners' reports of adolescents' physical aggression. Less functional behaviors observed during observed marital conflict were associated with a range of less functional conflict behaviors in adolescents' observed interactions with romantic partners, including withdrawal, verbal aggression, negativity, ineffective problem solving, and low cohesion. Within-family conflict and methodological issues in the use of partner and self-reports of conflict behaviors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-690
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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