Family cohesiveness, flexibility, and maternal anger: Boon or detriment to children's adjustment?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines relationships between family structure, parental anger, and children's behavior problems. Divorced mothers were tested in a multiple respondent design, along with one of their adolescent children. The mothers and the children both rated the child's behavior problems. When mothers rated these problems, the children of families with the highest level of cohesion and adaptability were found to have the fewest behavior problems, and those with the lowest levels had the most problems. When children performed the ratings, higher levels of family cohesion/adaptability were associated with more behavior problems. The daughters of mothers with higher levels of state anger had more behavior problems. In contrast, boys whose mothers were higher in state anger had fewer problems. Mothers with moderate levels of state anger rated their sons as having more behavior problems, while boys whose mothers were low in maternal anger tended to rate their own behavior problems as more severe. These findings were interpreted as reflecting the needs of adolescent children for clear role hierarchies, family stability, and parental assertiveness in order to promote optimal adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStress and Emotion
Subtitle of host publicationAnxiety, Anger, and Curiosity
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)0415944376, 9780203954577
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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