Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Kristina Coop Gordon

Committee Members

Paula J. Fite, Deborah P. Welsh

Abstract

The effects of interparental conflict upon offspring‟s own relationships and marriages have been well-documented and current research has narrowed its focus to the examination of the mediators and moderators of this transmission of relational patterns across generations. Two hundred and thirty-nine undergraduate participants completed measures assessing their perceptions of their parents‟ conflict, social cognitions about relationships, their communication patterns in their relationships, and their current relationship satisfaction. Results showed that offspring‟s attitudes toward marriage mediated the relationship between interparental conflict and offspring‟s current relationship satisfaction, even while accounting for communication patterns in relationships. Further, it was found that attitudes toward marriage mediated the relationship between interparental conflict resolution and offspring‟s current relationship satisfaction, again, while controlling for communication patterns. Results emphasized the unique impact of social cognitions in relationships, and in addition, the powerful effects of observing parental conflict resolution for offspring, as it may reinforce positive view of marital relationships that offspring might then apply to their own relationships. Limitations and directions for future research are addressed.

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