Maternal and paternal perceptions of coparenting as a link between marital quality and the parent-toddler relationship

Ashley S. Holland, Nancy L. McElwain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine coparenting perceptions of support and trust as a link between marital quality and parent- child relationship quality. Mothers and fathers with 33-month-old children (n= 122, 61 girls) independently reported on coparenting support and trust, marital quality, and attachment-relevant aspects of the parent- child relationship. Additionally, child-mother attachment security was assessed observationally. Marital quality was related to higher quality mother-son relationships (self-reported and observed) via more positive maternal coparenting perceptions, and marital quality was related to greater father-son and father- daughter relationship quality via more positive paternal coparenting perceptions. For partner effects, marital quality was related to higher mother-son relationship quality via fathers' perceptions of coparenting. Results highlight perceptions of coparenting of both mothers and fathers as a link between marital quality and mother- child relationship quality for families with toddler-aged boys. Further, findings suggest that marital quality fosters more positive paternal coparenting trust and support, which in turn has positive implications for father-son and father- daughter relationships during toddlerhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Keywords

  • Coparenting
  • Fathers
  • Marital quality
  • Parent- child attachment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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