MARITAL TENSION BETWEEN MOM AND DAD CAN HARM EACH PARENT'S BOND WITH CHILD
Date Posted » 30 April, 2015
Children suffer when mom and dad have problems in their marriage, according to a new study. Dads, especially, let negative emotions and tension from their marriage spill over and harm the bond with their child, says a psychologist.
Conversely, moms in poor quality marriages sometimes compartmentalized marital tension and improved the relationship with their child.
Parents having an argument in front of the children. Children suffer consequences, too, when mom and dad argue or have tension in their relationship, experts warn.
The findings drive home the conclusion that the quality of a marriage is closely tied to each parent's bond with their child, Kouros said.
The findings are based on data provided by 203 families, where family members completed daily diary entries for 15 days. Moms and dads rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their child at the end of each day.
The authors found that when parents reported tension and conflict in their marriage, simultaneously that day's interactions with their child were peppered with tension and conflict.
Even so, distinct differences also were identified in moms and dads.
In situations where the quality of the marriage was low, moms appeared to compartmentalize the problems they were having in their marriage by the next day.
"In fact, in that situation, moms appeared to compensate for their marital tension," Kouros said. "Poor marital quality actually predicted an improvement in the relationship between the mom and the child. So, the first day's adverse spillover is short lived for moms."
That was not the case for dads, the researchers found.
"In families where the mom was showing signs of depression, dads on the other hand let the marital tension spill over, with the result being poorer interactions with their child, even on the next day," she said.