Abstract

ABSTRACT This study engages relational turbulence theory to examine relationship functioning and communication among parents of teenagers. The hypotheses assessed associations between relational uncertainty and disrupted interdependence, and communication during conflict episodes related to childrearing, and considered parenting stress and coparenting alliance as antecedents of relationship parameters. Married, parents of teen children (n = 349) reported their relationship experiences, parenting stress, and coparenting alliance. Then, parents recalled a recent disagreement with their spouse related to their teen and reported their communication tactics during the conversation. The results suggested that parenting stress was positively associated with relational uncertainty and interference from a partner, which in turn, predicted more negative conflict communication. Coparenting alliance was negatively associated with relational uncertainty and partner interference, and positively associated with facilitation from a partner. Parenting stress attenuated the relationship between coparenting alliance and relationship parameters. Implications for relational turbulence theory, family scholars, and parents of teens are discussed.

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