Parental Conflict in marriage:  effects on Children?

Are you concerned about how conflict in your marriage or relationship might be affecting your children? Or your friend or relative’s children?


It is obvious isn’t it, that a combatitive conflictual relationship could affect the children of that relationship, but how so? And is it real? How bad does it have to be to have a real effect?

A British psychologist considered that the extensive research which is available in over 30 years suggests it is horrifyingly real, research which we attach in the below link from Marilyn Stone Family Lawyer.

The result is that witnessing parental conflict can:

  1. Cause children to experience enduring depression and anxiety;
  2. Result in the children replicating the conflict in their own relationships;
  3. Cause the children to have impaired relationships with peers;
  4. be detrimental to their self concept;
  5. result in children having lower levels of well-being;
  6. Cause the child to under perform academically, use drugs, become defiant, act out and cease activities which they find pleasurable.

The story is not completely negative. There are some supportive strategies offered to parents of the children witnessing the conflict:

  • don’t put children in the middle of arguments
  • Offer constant reassurance
  • Maintain age-appropriate rules
  • Check in with the child frequently and
  • empower the child to be in a safe place to talk

If you are in a conflictual marriage or relationship and want to discuss your options, please contact Rowan Skinner and Associates Lawyers to arrange a 15 minute consultation.



How does conflict during separation and divorce affect children?