Marital Quality and Parent-Adolescent Relationships
While a number of studies have examined the effects of marital disruption on adolescent well-being, few have studied the implications of marital conflict and relationship quality for child well-being in married-couple families. This represents an important gap in the research, say these authors, since most children live in married couple families. In the present study, they explored this issue using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort, a nationally representative sample of adolescents who are being followed into adulthood. The authors examined how parent marital quality among intact families interacts with the quality of the parent-adolescent relationships to predict physical health, mental health, substance use, sexual activity, religious activity, and educational outcomes in middle adolescence and early adulthood. They found that adolescents whose parents have a high quality relationship and who have a good parent-adolescent relationship with both parents consistently had the best outcomes. Ironically, these types of parent/child situations are among the least studied. Modified Author Abstract.