Feelings in the Family: Interparental Conflict, Anger, and Expressiveness in Families With Older Adolescents

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family, feelings, affect, anger, conflict

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This study explored the relations between aspects of family functioning (parent-child relationship, family and self-expressiveness, and interparental conflict) and young adults’ patterns of anger expression. Contrary to the hypothesis that family and self-expressiveness would be related to interparental conflict, the results suggested that young adults’retrospective reports of interparental conflict were related only to family expressiveness. Self-expressiveness, however, appeared to be associated more with the socialization of emotional expression within a family than with how parents handled angry emotions between themselves. As hypothesized, negative selfexpressiveness was associated with negative family expressiveness. Positive self-expressiveness, however, was related to positive and negative family expressiveness. Interparental conflict was related to the experience and expression of anger, especially with violent marital conflicts. The findings supported the hypothesis that interparental conflict would be negatively related to perceptions of the parent-child relationship and parental emotional availability. The findings better illustrate the relationship between one’s family environment and various aspects of functioning in young adulthood. Individual and family therapy implications are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Family Journal, v. 12, issue 1, p. 129-138