Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > The effects of unresolved marital conflict on the development of clinical problems in toddlers: the moderating role of maternal sensitivity

Using a process-oriented model to contextualize the effects of marital conflict, the present study seeks to establish a framework by which unresolved marital conflict at 6 months, maternal sensitivity, and gender combine to influence the development of clinical problems by 30 months. Analyses revealed a significant interaction effect between unresolved conflict and maternal sensitivity upon both internalizing and externalizing child clinical problems, as well as a significant three-way interaction between unresolved conflict, maternal sensitivity and child sex upon attention problems. These results indicate that unresolved marital conflict predicts child outcomes, boys and girls are differentially susceptible to the effects of marital conflicts, and maternal sensitivity moderates the effects of conflict on the development of clinical problems. These findings help us better understand the sex gap in attention problems, as well as underscore the fact that marital conflict must be studied from a systems approach.