Child Parent Conflict and Academic Performance

Topics: Family, Domestic violence, Child abuse Pages: 7 (2201 words) Published: November 4, 2008
Child-Parent Conflict and Academic Performance
Education and family plays a major role in the psychological development of a child. Parent- child relationships are unique, but vary in complexity (Barber, 1994); however, the universal element among all relationships is conflict. Child-parent conflict is defined as a struggle, or trial of strength between a child (defined in my research paper as an individual under the age of 18) and their guardian(s). There are many different conflicts that may arise from different situations, different sources, and all of which have different outcomes. Several psychological problems may arise as a consequence of interrelationships between children and parents; some of which include physical and emotional stress, anxiety, etc. Child-parent conflicts cause the decrease in academic performance among young adults as a result from many negative outcomes, such as stressors, anger, and anxiety. The nature of such conflicts resides in diverse sets of sources some of which include family structure and parental dominance, which cause consequences in a child’s well-being, such as violence and stress.

Background Information
Several structural changes have occurred in relation to family life and marriages in American families over the past three decades (Demo, 1992). Family scholars have empirically documented that rapidly changing values, social roles, behavioral patterns, and household arrangements which have negatively influenced child-parent relations (Demo, 1992). Demo conducts his research to lay out evidence on how child-parent relations have changed by examining structural changes in living arrangements and by gearing his research towards the effects of child-parent interaction and parental employment. According to Demo the negative consequences attributed to divorce, single-parent family structure, and maternal employment has caused the decrease in the well-being of American children. Demo’s proof assures that academic performance has dropped as a result of these structural changes in family between 1960 and 1980. Demo’s research portrays strong reinforcement with enough empirical data on the topic of the evolution of family structure. Through a psychological perspective and in addition to these academic affects, child-parent conflicts cause consequences on the child which may be internal or external. Stress is a consequence of child-parent conflict and it is necessary to know more about its implication on an individual. The fight-flight response can be triggered easily during the high periods of stress causing physiological arousal, increase in heart rate, blood pressure, secretion, respiration, hormones excitement, which prepares the body to deal with an impounding threat (Plotnik, 1999). This confirming that stress has a physical affect on the body; according to the general adaptation syndrome stress goes through a series of three stages; the alarm stage, the resistance stage, and the exhaustion stage (Plotnik, 1999). The situational stressors examine frustration, burnout, and interpersonal violence (Plotnik, 1999). Burnout is a common affect among students who experience high levels of stress. For these reasons, there are many internal and external consequences inflicted upon the child which result from conflict and which affect different factors, education being an important factor of a child. Nature of Child-Parent Conflict

Sources of Conflict
Conflicts have specific sources from which they arise; however, each relationship is affected by diverse sets of sources. According to Barber, conflict comprises of different levels of intensity. He examines diverse categories of conflict which arise between child and parent. Barber conducts a study on 1,828 White, Black and Hispanic families with adolescents and reports his findings on personal and social factors related to variations in conflict. The strength of Barber’s findings is seen through his investigation on a...

References: Barber, B. (1994). Cultural, family and personal contexts of parental adolescent conflict. Journal of Marriage and the Family 56(2), 375-386.
Cook-Cottone, C. (Winter 2004). Childhood posttraumatic stress disorder: Diagnosis, treatment and school reintegration. School Psychology review 33(13), 127-146.
Demo, D (1992). Parent- child relation: Assessing recent changes. Journal of marriage and the family 54(1), 104-117.
Haven, Patrick C. L. & Newbury Kathryn. (December 2004). Relationships between adolescents and parental characteristics and adolescents attitudes to school and self-rated academic performance. Australian Journal of Psychology 56 (3), 173-180.
Luster, T., Small, S. (Feb 1997). Sexual Abuse History and Problems in Adolescence Exploring the Effects of Modeling Variables. Journal of Marriage and the Family
(59), 131-12.
Nimkoff, M. (1931). The relation of parental dominance to parent child conflict. Institute for Marriage and Family Guidance 9(4), 559-563.
Plotnik, Rod. (1988). Intoduction to Psychology; fifth edition. United States of America: Wadsworth Publishing Company., 1999, pg 484-491, 604-605).
Vandewater, E., Lansford, J. (1998). Influence of family structure and parental conflict on children well-being. The Family as a Context for Health and Well Being 4(47), 323-330.
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