Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ambika Krishnakumar


adjustment, conflict styles, interparental conflict, mother-child conflict resolution, psychological control

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this research is to examine how interparental conflict and conflict styles (overt, covert and avoidant) influence children’s adjustment directly and indirectly through maternal psychological control and mother-child conflict resolution among Chinese children. Paper-pencil survey data were collected from 111 mother-child dyads of children aged from 11 to 14 from Shantou, Guangdong, China. Results of this research revealed that interparental conflict was not associated with internalizing and externalizing behaviors. This study also found a very weak linear relationship between overt conflict style and externalizing behaviors and between covert and avoidant conflict styles and internalizing behaviors. In addition, maternal psychological control and mother-child conflict resolution did not mediate the association between conflict styles and children’s adjustment. The study supported the compartmentalization hypothesis, rather than the spillover and compensatory hypotheses. The findings from this study have implications for school counselors or practitioners who work with children’s maladjustment in the Chinese setting and also Chinese families living in global settings.


Open Access



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