Intergenerational transmission of aggression in romantic relationships: the moderating role of attachment security.
This prospective study used longitudinal, multi-reporter data to examine the influence of parents' marital relationship functioning on subsequent adolescent romantic relationships. Consistent with Bryant and Conger's (2002) model for the Development of Early Adult Romantic Relationships (DEARR), we found that interactional styles, more specifically paternal aggression and satisfaction, exhibited in parents' marital relationship when their adolescents were age 13 were predictive of qualities of the adolescent's romantic relationships 5 years later. Continuities were domain specific: paternal satisfaction predicted adolescent satisfaction and paternal aggression predicted adolescent aggression. Attachment security moderated the link between paternal aggression and subsequent adolescent aggression, with continuities between negative conflictual styles across relationships reduced for secure adolescents. Results are interpreted as suggesting that attachment may help attenuated the transmission of destructive conflict strategies across generations.
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