Title

Marital satisfaction and family stress as predictors of classroom behaviors

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between parents' perceptions of marital satisfaction and family stress and their third grade children's classroom behavior. Twenty-one married couples completed questionnaires during home visits. Behavior observations were made from videotapes of children recorded in their classroom during lunch and group academic periods on each of three days. Frequencies of peer interactions, solitary behaviors, and teacher interactions were coded. Regression analyses showed that mothers' level of marital satisfaction (but not fathers') predicted their children's frequency of peer interactions during lunch. Fathers' level of perceived family stress (but not mothers') predicted their children's frequency of peer interactions during lunch. Neither measure for either parent was related to the frequency of peer interactions, solitary behaviors, or teacher interactions observed during the academic sessions. These findings highlight the importance of assessing the potential differential relation of parent variables to children's trans-situational behaviors, and the examination of these variables in relation to different social-environmental contexts in which children participate outside the home. © 1992 Human Sciences Press, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

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