Linking Marital and Parenting Quality

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Lisa Boyce


The purpose of the current study was to examine predictors of parent's perceptions of their relationship quality and commitment to their marriages, as well as the associations among these marital quality indicators and their perceived parenting quality. This study also moved beyond father and mother perceptions of their parenting quality to include their children's perception of their parenting quality. Data for this study were taken from the Flourishing Families Project, from which 300 mothers and fathers were selected based on their family structure, as well as their early adolescent children (mean age = 11.21, SD = .95). Correlational analyses revealed many small associations between demographic variables and marital quality and commitment. Marital quality and commitment were highly and positively associated for both mothers and fathers. Reports of parental involvement and parent-child connectedness were also positively associated. The more that mothers and fathers were involved with their early adolescent child, the more likely they were to experience higher marital commitment. Fathers who felt connected to their child were also more likely to rate their marital quality more highly. Child perceptions of high father involvement were more likely in fathers reporting higher martial quality and commitment. Examining parenting quality from these multiple perspectives may have valuable implications for teaching extension and community classes on marital, parenting, and child development topics.

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