The importance of parents’ dyadic coping for children.


Stress and coping in couples have received increased research attention during the past two decades, particularly with regard to how couples cope with stress. Dyadic coping has emerged as a strong predictor of relationship satisfaction. Less research has focused on the effects of dyadic coping on other outcomes or family members. In the present study, the authors addressed this gap by examining parents’ dyadic coping as a predictor of children’s internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, and prosocial behavior in three independent studies. In Studies 1 and 2 self-report data were used to assess parents’ dyadic coping through the parents’ and the children’s perspective, and Study 3 included observational data on dyadic coping. Parental dyadic coping was related to children’s externalizing symptoms, internalizing symptoms, and prosocial behavior, although results for the latter two outcomes were not consistent across the three studies. The findings suggest that parents’ dyadic coping deserves greater consideration within the context of child development.