Parental child-rearing conflicts through adolescence: Trajectories and associations with child characteristics and externalizing patterns.


Research on longitudinal interparental conflict patterns and offspring development is scarce. The population-based TOPP study (N = 459) was used to investigate (1) child-rearing conflict trajectories through four time points during childhood and adolescence (ages 8-16), and (2) associations between conflict trajectories and child characteristics (i.e., birth order, gender, externalizing patterns from early childhood). Latent profile analysis identified six distinct trajectories. Conflict levels decreased for most respondents over the adolescent offspring period, but offspring’s birth order and externalizing problems were related to less typical trajectories and higher levels of conflict. Onset of externalizing problems was of additional importance for the course of parental child-rearing conflicts. The results highlight the perception of the whole family as an interwoven system.