Observations of marital conflict and power: Relations with parenting in the triad

Kristin M. Lindahl, Neena M Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


An ethnically diverse sample of 113 families with a 7-to 11-year-old son participated in this study of marital functioning and its relationship with parenting in a family setting. Observations were made of discussions of dyadic marital and triadic family problems. Behavioral observations of marital conflict and balance of power in the marital dyad were compared with observations of rejecting, coercive, withdrawn, and supportive parental behaviors. Results indicated relations between destructive forms of marital conflict and fathers' negative parental behaviors. Results also indicated moderation by either distress or ethnicity on many of the relations between parenting and the balance of power, suggesting complex and varied links between functioning in the marital subsystem and the family system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Marital conflict
  • Parenting
  • Power
  • Triadic interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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