Negative Co-Parenting and Children’s Adjustment: The Role of Children’s Appraisals and Triangulation

Author/s Elena Camisasca, Alessandra Bavagnoli
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2024/1
Language English Pages 21 P. 45-65 File size 254 KB
DOI 10.3280/MAL2024-001003
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Existing literature has outlined how negative co-parenting could affect children’s ad-justment through children’s subjective appraisals and triangulation. However, no stud-ies have investigated whether children’s cognitive appraisals and two distinct forms of children’s triangulation (feelings and involvement) could be serial mediators of the associations between negative co-parenting and children’s adjustment. Mediation analyses were performed using a sample of 125 Italian families of children aged 8-14. Results showed that negative co-parenting was linked to children’s threat and self-blame appraisals. Data also suggested how both children’s subjective appraisals (threat and self-blame) were associated with the two forms of children’s triangulation (direct involvement and subjective triangulation). Finally, the results indicated two specific pathways for the serial mediation of children’s cognitive appraisals and triangulation in the association between negative co-parenting and children’s adjustment. On the one hand, subjective triangulation predicts children’s internalizing behaviors. On the other hand, triangulation involvement promotes children’s externalizing behaviors. .

Keywords: Negative co-parenting, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, children’s subjective appraisals, triangulation

  1. Ablow, J. C., Measelle, J. R., Cowan, P. A., & Cowan, C. P. (2009). Linking marital conflict and children’s adjustment: The role of young children’s perceptions. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(4), 485-499.
  2. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the child behavior Checklist/4-18. Burlington, VT, USA: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.
  3. Amato, P. R., & Afifi, T. D. (2006). Feeling caught between parents: Adult children’s relations with parents and subjective well-being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 222-235.
  4. Bowen, M. (1978). Society, crisis, and systems theory. In M. Bowen (Ed.), Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson, 413-45.
  5. Buehler, C., & Welsh, D. P. (2009). A process model of adolescents’ triangulation into parents’ marital conflict: The role of emotional reactivity. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(2), 167-180.
  6. Bukhari, S., & Masood, S. (2019). Adolescent triangulation into interparental conflict: Role of cognitive appraisals and birth-order. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 16(6), 712-726. DOI: 10.1080/17405629.2018.1511418
  7. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., & Di Blasio, P. (2013). L’attaccamento modera le reazioni dei bambini esposti al conflitto genitoriale? Verifica di un modello integrato. Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo, 17(3), 479-500. DOI: 10.1449/76229
  8. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., & Di Blasio, P. (2016). Conflittualità genitoriale e sintomatologia da stress post-traumatico nei figli: uno studio esplorativo. Maltrattamento e abuso all’infanzia, 18(2), 141-151. DOI: 10.3280/MAL2016-002008
  9. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., & Di Blasio, P. (2019a). Children’s cognitive and emotional processes in adult versus child-related inter-parental conflicts. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 15(4), 843.
  10. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., & Di Blasio, P. (2019b). Children’s triangulation during inter-parental conflict: Which role for maternal and paternal parenting stress?. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 1623-1634.
  11. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., Di Blasio, P., & Feinberg, M. (2019). Co-parenting mediates the influence of marital satisfaction on child adjustment: The conditional indirect effect by parental empathy. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(2), 519-53.
  12. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., Di Blasio, P., & Grych, J. (2017). Children’s Coping Strategies to Inter-Parental Conflict: The Moderating Role of Attachment. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 26(4), 1099–1111.
  13. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., Di Blasio, P., & Feinberg, M. (2022). Pathways Among Negative Co-parenting, Parenting Stress, Authoritarian Parenting Style, and Child Adjustment: The Emotional Dysregulation Driven Model. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 31(11), 3085-3096.
  14. Camisasca, E., Miragoli, S., Milani, L., & Di Blasio, P. (2016). Adattamento di coppia, cogenitorialità e benessere psicologico dei figli: uno studio esplorativo. Psicologia della Salute, 2, 127-141. DOI: 10.3280/PDS2016-002007
  15. Camisasca, E., Di Blasio, P., Traficante, D., Lombardi, E., Balzarotti, S., Marelli, A., Bavagnoli, A. & Miragoli, S. (2023). The Coparenting Relationship Scale: The First Contribution To The Validation Of The Measure In Italian Mothers And Fathers. TPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 30(4), 365-390. DOI: 10.4473/TPM30.4.1
  16. Camisasca, E. & Feinberg, M. (2020) The Children Version of the Coparenting Relationship Scale. Unpublished Manuscript.
  17. Camisasca, E., Lombardi, E. & Bavagnoli, A. (2023). Assessing children's perception of the coparenting relationship: validity of an adapted version of the Coparenting Relationship Scale. Oral presentation. 11th Conference of ESFR, 14-16 June 2023, Roskilde University (Denmark).
  18. Choi, J. K., & Becher, E. H. (2019). Supportive coparenting, parenting stress, harsh parenting, and child behavior problems in nonmarital families. Family process, 58(2), 404-417.
  19. Davies, P. T., & Cummings, E. M. (1994). Marital conflict and child adjustment: an emotional security hypothesis. Psychological bulletin, 116(3), 387-411. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.3.387
  20. Davies, P. T., Thompson, M. J., Li, Z., & Sturge-Apple, M. L. (2022). The cognitive costs and advantages of children’s exposure to parental relationship instability: Testing an evolutionary-developmental hypothesis. Developmental Psychology, 58(8), 1485-1499.
  21. Di Blasio, P., & Camisasca, E. (2019). Stress genitoriale materno e sintomatologia post-traumatica in bambini esposti al conflitto genitoriale: un modello di mediazione. Maltrattamento e abuso all’infanzia, 21(2), 79-94. DOI: 10.3280/MAL2019-002006
  22. Dollberg, D. G., Hanetz Gamliel, K., & Levy, S. (2021). Mediating and moderating links between coparenting, parental mentalization, parents’ anxiety, and children’s behavior problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 35(3),324.
  23. El-Sheikh, M., Hinnant, J. B. & Erath, S. A. (2015). Sleep and development: Advancing theory and research: VI. marital conflict, vagal regulation, and children’s sleep: A longitudinal investigation. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 80(1), 89-106.
  24. Feinberg, M. E. (2003). The internal structure and ecological context of coparenting: A framework for research and intervention. Parenting: Science and Practice, 3(2), 95-131. DOI: 10.1207/S15327922PAR0302_0
  25. Feinberg, M. E., Brown, L. D., & Kan, M. L. (2012). A multi-domain self-report measure of coparenting. Parenting, Science and Practice, 12, 1-21. DOI: 10.1080/15295192.2012.638870
  26. Fosco, G. M. & Bray, B. C. (2016). Profiles of cognitive appraisals and triangulation into interparental conflict: Implications for adolescent adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(5), 533-542.
  27. Fosco, G. M. & Grych, J. H. (2008). Emotional, cognitive, and family systems mediators of children’s adjustment to interparental conflict. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(6), 843-854.
  28. Fosco, G. M. & Feinberg, M. E. (2015). Cascading effects of interparental conflict in adolescence: Linking threat appraisals, self-efficacy, and adjustment. Development and Psychopathology, 27(1), 239-252. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579414000704
  29. Fosco, G. M. & Grych, J. H. (2010). Adolescent triangulation into parental conflicts: Longitudinal implications for appraisals and adolescent-parent relations. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(2), 254-266.
  30. Fosco, G. M., DeBoard, R. L., & Grych, J. H. (2007). Making sense of family violence: Implications of children’s appraisals of interparental aggression for their short-and long-term functioning. European psychologist, 12(1), 6-16. DOI: 10.1027/1016-9040.12.1.6
  31. Franck, K. L., & Buehler, C. (2007). A family process model of marital hostility, parental depressive affect, and early adolescent problem behavior: the roles of triangulation and parental warmth. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(4), 614-625. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.4.614
  32. Frigerio, A. (2001). Child behavior checklist 4-18, Manuale [Manual for the child behavior checklist 4-18]. Bosisio Parini, Italy: IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Editore Ghedini Libraio.
  33. Gerard, J. M., Buehler, C., Franck, K., & Anderson, O. (2005). In the Eyes of the Beholder: Cognitive Appraisals as Mediators of the Association Between Interparental Conflict and Youth Maladjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(3), 376-384. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.19.3.376
  34. Grych, J. H. (1998). Children’s appraisals of interparental conflict: Situational and contextual influences. Journal of Family Psychology, 12(3), 437-453. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.12.3.437
  35. Grych, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (1990). Marital conflict and children’s adjustment: A cognitive-contextual framework. Psychological Bulletin, 108(2), 267-290. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.108.2.267
  36. Grych, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (1993). Children’s Appraisals of Marital Conflict: Initial Investigations of the Cognitive-Contextual Framework. Child Development, 64(1), 215-230. DOI: 10.2307/1131447
  37. Grych, J. H., Harold, G. T., & Miles, C. J. (2003). A prospective investigation of appraisals as mediators of the link between interparental conflict and child adjustment. Child Development, 74(4), 1176-1193. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00600
  38. Grych, J. H., Seid, M., & Fincham, F. D. (1992). Assessing marital conflict from the child’s perspective: The Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale. Child development, 63(3), 558-572.
  39. Grych, J. H., Raynor, S. R., & Fosco, G. M. (2004). Family processes that shape the impact of interparental conflict on adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 649-665. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00600
  40. Grych, J. H., Fincham, F. D., Jouriles, E. N., & McDonald, R. (2000). Interparental conflict and child adjustment: Testing the mediational role of appraisals in the cognitive‐contextual framework. Child Development, 71(6), 1648-1661. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00255
  41. Hayes, A. F. (2018). Partial, conditional, and moderated moderated mediation: Quantification, inference, and interpretation. Communication monographs, 85(1), 4-40. DOI: 10.1080/03637751.2017.1352100
  42. Kerig, P. K. (1995). Triangles in the family circle: Effects of family structure on marriage, parenting, and child adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 9 (1), 28-43. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.9.1.28
  43. Khaleque, A., Uddin, M. K., Shirin, A., Aktar, R., & Himi, S. A. (2016). Cognitive and contextual factors mediating the relation between interparental conflict and adolescents’ psychological maladjustment. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 669-677.
  44. Koss, K. J., George, M. R., Bergman, K. N., Cummings, E. M., Davies, P. T., & Cicchetti, D. (2011). Understanding children’s emotional processes and behavioral strategies in the context of marital conflict. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109(3), 336-352.
  45. Lamela, D., & Figueiredo, B. (2016). Coparenting after marital dissolution and children’s mental health: a systematic review. Jornal de Pediatria, 92, 331-342.
  46. Lau, Y. K. (2017). Postdivorce coparenting and children’s well-being in Hong Kong. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 58(5), 329-346. DOI: 10.1080/10502556.2017.1302237
  47. Liu, S., Yu, C., Zhen, S., Zhang, W., Su, P., & Xu, Y. (2016). Influence of inter-parental conflict on adolescent delinquency via school connectedness: Is impulsivity a vulnerability or plasticity factor?. Journal of Adolescence, 52, 12-21.
  48. Lu, H., Chen, Q., Xie, C., Liang, Q., Wang, L., Xie, M., ... & Wang, J. (2020). Interparental conflict and delinquency among Chinese adolescents: parental knowledge as a mediator and deviant peer affiliation as a moderator. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 1775.
  49. Lucas-Thompson, R. G. (2012). Associations of marital conflict with emotional and physiological stress: Evidence for different patterns of dysregulation. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(4), 704-721.
  50. Machado, M. R., & Mosmann, C. P. (2020). Coparental conflict and triangulation, emotion regulation, and externalizing problems in adolescents: Direct and indirect relationships. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto), 30.
  51. McHale, J. P. (1995). Coparenting and triadic interactions during infancy: The roles of marital distress and child gender. Developmental Psychology, 31(6), 985-996. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.31.6.985
  52. McHale, J. P., & Lindahl, K. M. (2011). Coparenting: A conceptual and clinical examination of family systems (pp. xii-314). American Psychological Association.
  53. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families & family therapy. Harvard U. Press, Oxford. (Disponibile online:
  54. Qian, Y., Chen, F., & Yuan, C. (2020). The effect of co-parenting on children’s emotion regulation under fathers’ perception: A moderated mediation model of family functioning and marital satisfaction. Children and Youth Services Review, 119, 105501.
  55. Ren, L., Cheung, R. Y. M., Boise, C., Li, X., & Fan, J. (2020). Fathers’ perceived co-parenting and children’s academic readiness among chinese preschoolers: Longitudinal pathways through parenting and behavioral regulation. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 77-85.
  56. Riina, E. M., & McHale, S. M. (2014). Bidirectional influences between dimensions of coparenting and adolescent adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 257-269.
  57. Schermerhorn, A. C., Cummings, E. M., DeCarlo, C. A., & Davies, P. T. (2007). Children’s influence in the marital relationship. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(2), 259-269. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.2.259
  58. Shelton, K. H., & Harold, G. T. (2008). Interparental conflict, negative parenting, and children’s adjustment: Bridging links between parents’ depression and children’s psychological distress. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 712-724.
  59. Siffert, A., Schwarz, B., & Stutz, M. (2012). Marital conflict and early adolescents’ self-evaluation: The role of parenting quality and early adolescents’ appraisals. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 749-763.
  60. Solmeyer, A. R., & Feinberg, M. E. (2011). Mother and father adjustment during early parenthood: The roles of infant temperament and coparenting relationship quality. Infant Behavior and Development, 34(4), 504-514.
  61. Teubert, D., & Pinquart, M. (2010). The association between coparenting and child adjustment: A meta-analysis. Parenting, 10(4), 286-307. DOI: 10.1080/15295192.2010.492040
  62. van Eldik, W. M., de Haan, A. D., Parry, L. Q., Davies, P. T., Luijk, M. P., Arends, L. R., & Prinzie, P. (2020). The interparental relationship: Meta-analytic associations with children’s maladjustment and responses to interparental conflict. Psychological Bulletin, 146(7), 553-594.
  63. Zimet, D. M. & Jacob, T. (2001). Influences of marital conflict on child adjustment: Review of theory and research. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 4(4), 319-335. DOI: 10.1023/A:1013595304718
  64. Zhao, F., Wu, H., Li, Y., Zhang, H., & Hou, J. (2022). The Association between Coparenting Behavior and Internalizing/Externalizing Problems of Children and Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 10346.

Elena Camisasca, Alessandra Bavagnoli, Negative Co-Parenting and Children’s Adjustment: The Role of Children’s Appraisals and Triangulation in "MALTRATTAMENTO E ABUSO ALL’INFANZIA" 1/2024, pp 45-65, DOI: 10.3280/MAL2024-001003