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The impact of destructive parental conflicts on children and their families

M. Visser

The impact of destructive parental conflicts on the whole family system, not only requires child-focused but also parent-focused interventions to decrease children’s symptoms and to improve their well-being. Interventions aimed at decreasing negative direct effects of exposure to destructive parental conflicts (Cohen et al., 2010) need to be improved by adding parent-focused components aimed to decrease the negative indirect effects of destructive parental conflicts on children, such as negative parenting behavior and impaired parent–child relationships. Because parents can be adversely affected in a variety of ways (e.g., depressed, frightened, stressed) by the parental conflicts, examining how the mental health state of parents can cross over to children’s self-reported stress symptoms, provides a relevant contribution to our knowledge on how parental conflict affects children.

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