Evolutionary Theory and Parent-Child Conflict: The Utility of Parent-Offspring Conflict Theory

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194662
Title:
Evolutionary Theory and Parent-Child Conflict: The Utility of Parent-Offspring Conflict Theory
Author:
Schlomer, Gabriel Lee
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Parent-offspring conflict theory (POCT) has been underutilized by researchers interested in family relationships. The goal of these three manuscripts is to help remedy this problem.Manuscript one presents POCT in its original formulation and more recent developments. The theory is described and explained and four topical areas of human development are discussed in terms of how POCT has been applied and how the theory can help inform future research.Manuscript two tests hypotheses derived from POCT about mother-adolescent conflict. This study showed that coresidence with a younger half sibling significantly incremented conflict between mothers and their children. This effect was not explained by SES, maternal depression, number of children in the household, or stepfather presence. In addition, children in younger half sibling households demonstrate elevated levels of conflict compared to families with a younger full sibling indicating that this effect is not an artifact of coresidence with a younger sibling. Presence of a younger half sibling also partially mediated the relationship between biological parental disruption and mother-child conflict.Manuscript three sought to extend on the findings from manuscript two by examining how different family contexts affect trajectories of mother-child conflict across adolescence. A piecewise growth model was implemented to estimate linear conflict trajectories from early to mid and from mid to late adolescence. Results indicated that conflict tends to increase from early to mid adolescence but remain constant from mid to late adolescence, that biological parental disruption did not differentiate trajectories of conflict, nor did living with a stepfather. In addition, despite a large difference in regression coefficients between families with and without a younger half sibling, younger half sibling status did not differentiate conflict trajectories from early to mid adolescence. Families did differ in their trajectories from mid to late adolescence with younger half sibling families showing a reduction in conflict over this time period. Inclusion of family level covariates effectively nullified all significant results. Results are discussed in the context of parent-offspring conflict theory. It is concluded that a larger sample with more diverse family types is needed to achieve sufficient power for additional analyses and future research.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
conflict; development; evolution; parent-child conflict; parent-child relations; parent-offspring conflict
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Family & Consumer Sciences; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Ellis, Bruce J
Committee Chair:
Ellis, Bruce J

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEvolutionary Theory and Parent-Child Conflict: The Utility of Parent-Offspring Conflict Theoryen_US
dc.creatorSchlomer, Gabriel Leeen_US
dc.contributor.authorSchlomer, Gabriel Leeen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractParent-offspring conflict theory (POCT) has been underutilized by researchers interested in family relationships. The goal of these three manuscripts is to help remedy this problem.Manuscript one presents POCT in its original formulation and more recent developments. The theory is described and explained and four topical areas of human development are discussed in terms of how POCT has been applied and how the theory can help inform future research.Manuscript two tests hypotheses derived from POCT about mother-adolescent conflict. This study showed that coresidence with a younger half sibling significantly incremented conflict between mothers and their children. This effect was not explained by SES, maternal depression, number of children in the household, or stepfather presence. In addition, children in younger half sibling households demonstrate elevated levels of conflict compared to families with a younger full sibling indicating that this effect is not an artifact of coresidence with a younger sibling. Presence of a younger half sibling also partially mediated the relationship between biological parental disruption and mother-child conflict.Manuscript three sought to extend on the findings from manuscript two by examining how different family contexts affect trajectories of mother-child conflict across adolescence. A piecewise growth model was implemented to estimate linear conflict trajectories from early to mid and from mid to late adolescence. Results indicated that conflict tends to increase from early to mid adolescence but remain constant from mid to late adolescence, that biological parental disruption did not differentiate trajectories of conflict, nor did living with a stepfather. In addition, despite a large difference in regression coefficients between families with and without a younger half sibling, younger half sibling status did not differentiate conflict trajectories from early to mid adolescence. Families did differ in their trajectories from mid to late adolescence with younger half sibling families showing a reduction in conflict over this time period. Inclusion of family level covariates effectively nullified all significant results. Results are discussed in the context of parent-offspring conflict theory. It is concluded that a larger sample with more diverse family types is needed to achieve sufficient power for additional analyses and future research.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectconflicten_US
dc.subjectdevelopmenten_US
dc.subjectevolutionen_US
dc.subjectparent-child conflicten_US
dc.subjectparent-child relationsen_US
dc.subjectparent-offspring conflicten_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFamily & Consumer Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorEllis, Bruce Jen_US
dc.contributor.chairEllis, Bruce Jen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberButler, Emily Aen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFigueredo, Aurelio Jen_US
dc.identifier.proquest11240en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752261085en_US
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