Triadic Co-parenting and Dyadic Marital and Parent-Child Interactions as Predictors of Children’s Later Externalizing Symptoms
According to Family Systems Theory (FST), a family is an interconnected system, with each subsystem affecting every other subsystem. Thus, when predicting the effects of parenting on child outcomes, triadic family interactions should provide unique information, beyond that of the summed effects of mother-child and father-child interactions (Minuchin, 1985; Cox & Paley, 2003). Competitive co-parenting in triadic family interactions is characterized by one adult undermining the other in order to take control of parenting or to win favor with the child over the other parent (McHale, 1995). In this pattern, parents…show more content… The goal of this study was to investigate this question by examining whether competitive co-parenting, assessed in triadic family interactions during toddlerhood (age 24 months), predicted children's later externalizing symptoms at age 7, even after controlling for the quality of dyadic marital, mother-child, and father-child interactions at 24 months. To accomplish this goal, the remainder of the introduction is divided into five sections. The first section provides a brief background on the prevalence and theories of development regarding children’s externalizing behaviors. Next, FST is introduced, with particular emphasis on the value of examining whole-family interactions over dyadic relationships. The third section reviews competitive co-parenting, a triadic whole-family interaction, and its relationship with children externalizing behavior. Followed, four types of maladaptive parental socialization are acknowledged by examining their standing relationship with poor social development in children. The final section describes a study designed to concurrently examine dyadic parent-child and triadic whole-family interactions in order to determine which type of interaction best predicts children’s externalization of behavior.
Background of Externalizing Behavior in Children
The ability for children to appropriately regulate their emotion has been a