Styles of Parental Interaction and College Student Social Adjustment

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Richard Wielkiewiez, Psychology


The effects of interparental conflict and subsequent social adjustment of college age children were examined. A measure to assess the recalled conflict level between one's parents was also created and evaluated. The social adjustment of the students was assessed by looking at their feelings about intimate relationships and the negativity of their current social interactions. The relationships among the Retrospective Interparental Conflict Scales (RICS), the social adjustment measures, various family structures (such as intact and non-intact families) were analyzed. Significant correlations between reported conflict and reports of fear of intimacy were found. There were also some correlations between reported conflict and negative social exchanges. Various family backgrounds, such as divorce, were also associated with higher reported conflict.