Parental Conflict and Child Development Essay

Parental Conflict and Child Development Essay

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As children, we depend greatly on our parents to satisfy our basic needs, for guidance, nurturance and for help in shaping our emotions, behaviors and relationships. For children, the family is a highly valued context for understanding and interpreting their development as individuals. As Bjorklund and Pelligrini (2001) have asserted, we are a “slow-developing, big-brained species”, the relatively large size of our brains demands a prolonged period of immaturity, therefore requiring a great deal of support and nurturance from parents (DeLoache, J., Eisenberg, N., Siegler, R. 2011). However, an adaptive consequence to this extended immaturity is our high level of neural plasticity and our ability to learn from experience. Growing up in a stable environment can undoubtedly reap successful development for children on many levels, just as living in an unstable environment will certainly allow for undesirable consequences. Despite great individual differences, research from psychologists such as Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud, among others allows us to organize and understand the affects of long lasting parental conflict on child development and family. Research has allowed a strong shot at understanding child development, allowing parental conflict to be observed and connected with the development of children across many aspects. It is largely the differences between socioeconomic status, culture, race, gender and level of conflict, support and resiliency, which directly affect children and other relatives over time.
A longitudinal study of one hundred and eighty seven children ages five and six has shown us that parental separation is greatly associated with an increased rate of emotional and behavioral problems in children (Clemens,...


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...l Journal of Behavioral Development, 22(4), 729-751. doi:10.1080/016502598384144
Sarrazin, J., & Cyr, F. (2007). Parental conflicts and their damaging effects on children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 47(1), 77-93.
Siegler, R., DeLoache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2011). How children develop (Third ed.). New York, New York: Worth Publisher.
STADELMANN, S., PERREN, S., GROEBEN, M., & von KLITZING, K. (2010). Parental separation and children's Behavioral/Emotional problems: The impact of parental representations and family conflict. Family Process, 49(1), 92-108. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01310.x
Sturge-Apple, M., Davies, P. T., & Cummings, E. M. (2006). Impact of hostility and withdrawal in interparental conflict on parental emotional unavailability and children's adjustment difficulties. Child Development, 77(6), 1623-1641. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00963.x

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