Dads in marital stress affect bonding with kids more
If constant fights between a couple over trivial matters at home are affecting bonding with kids, it is time to pause and ponder over who is making the things worse.
Experts now warn that fathers let the negative emotions and tension from their marriage spill over and harm the bond they have with their child.
While in situations where the quality of the marriage was low, mothers appeared to compensate for their marital tension by the next day.
"The findings drive home the conclusion that the quality of a marriage is closely tied to each parent's bond with their child," said psychologist Chrystyna D. Kouros from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
To reach this conclusion, the team analysed 203 families where family members completed daily diary entries for 15 days.
Mothers and fathers rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their child at the end of each day.
Researchers found that when parents reported tension and conflict in their marriage, simultaneously that day's interactions with their child were peppered with tension and conflict.
"In families where the mom was showing signs of depression, dads on the other hand let the marital tension spill over, with the result being poorer interactions with their child, even on the next day," Kouros noted.
While poor marital quality actually predicted an improvement in the relationship between the mom and the child.
"So, the first day's adverse spillover is short lived for moms," she added.
Marriage is a "hub relationship" for the family, she concluded in the study published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
(Posted on 06-08-2014)