Relations Between Characteristics of Collaborative and Oppositional Mother–Child Conflict




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Taylor and Francis Ltd.


SYNOPSIS: Objective. Oppositional parent–child conflict interactions and inconsistent parenting practices have each been associated with more negative socioemotional outcomes for children. The current study aimed to identify groups of mother–child dyads based on average levels and variability in collaborative and oppositional conflict characteristics during a typical week. We also examined relations between conflict groups and child behaviors, maternal behaviors, and family demographic characteristics. Design. In a sample of 142 mothers of 5- to 8-year-old children, we assessed qualities of daily conflict interactions over one week via online parent reports. Results. Based on average levels of conflict collaboration and opposition, and variability in these qualities from one interaction to the next, we identified three mother–child conflict groups using latent profile analysis: temperate stable, negative volatile, and moderate. Temperate stable dyads included children who were older and displayed the least internalizing and externalizing behavior problems and included mothers who reported the least parenting distress. Conclusions. Distinct information was provided by variable-centered and person-centered analyses and inconsistencies in conflict characteristics–whether negative or positive–tended to co-occur in families. ©2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.



Mother and child, School children, Parent and child


©2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.