Intergenerational continuity in high-conflict family environments

W. Andrew Rothenberg, Andrea M. Hussong, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In the current study, we examined continuity in conflict across generations and explored potential mediators and moderators that could explain this continuity. We followed 246 targets from adolescence to adulthood and examined family conflict as reported by multiple reporters in targets' family of origin and current families. Results showed that conflict in the current family was strongly correlated with that of the family of origin in women but not in men. Continuity in family conflict across generations was mediated by patterns of elevated adolescent externalizing behavior in members of the second generation (G2). In addition, analyses revealed an interaction between both G2 partners' externalizing behavior such that if one partner in the G2 family demonstrated high levels of externalizing behavior, elevated levels of family conflict resulted. Potential explanations and implications of these findings are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-308
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 27 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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