Interparental conflict, children’s social cognitions, and child aggression: A test of a mediational modeledit
Although correlations between interparental conflict and child maladjustment are well-established, the processes connecting these 2 phenomena are less understood. The present study tested whether an aggressogenic cognitive style mediates the relationship between interparental conflict and child aggression. A multiethnic sample of 115 families with a child between the ages of 7 and 13 years participated. Questionnaires were used to assess parents’ and children’s perceptions of interparental conflict, children’s social problem-solving strategies and beliefs about aggression, and parent and teacher reports of child aggression. Support was found for the mediating effect of aggressogenic cognitions on children’s school aggression but not on children’s aggression at home. Implications for understanding the associations among interparental conflict, children’s social cognitions, and child aggression in different environmental contexts are discussed.