The influence of parents: Parents' mental health and conflict in children's peer relations
MetadataShow full item record
- Institutt for psykologi 
This study examined the influence of parents’ mental health on the frequency of children’s peer relationships with high conflict levels. Friends are important for children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. A considerable amount of Norwegian children (37.3%) live with one or two parents with diagnosable psychological problems, which is considered a risk factor for development. The amount of peer relationships with conflict was measured by parental report of the extent to which children’s peer relationships were characterized by conflict. Parental self-report indicated the presence or absence of mental health issues. The results of the present study suggest that parents’ mental health influences the level of peer relationships children have that is high in conflict. Children of parents with mental health issues have more peer relationships with high amounts of conflict compared to children of healthy parents. The findings also indicate that the frequency of children with a high degree of conflictual relationships increases as parents’ mental illness become more severe. Possible mechanisms explaining the link between parents’ mental health and conflict in children’s relationships were discussed and future research directions were suggested.