Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pittman, Laura D.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Psychology; Families


According to the cognitive-contextual framework, exposure to interparental conflict (IPC) is associated with the formation of threat/self-blame appraisals, coping behaviors, and internalizing symptoms among adolescents. Past research also suggests that family cohesion and gender may influence adolescents' response to IPC. The full cognitive-contextual framework was examined using structural equation modeling (SEM) with Mplus programing among 207 high school students in a public, midwestern high school. Results show questionable fit for the full model. Additionally, indirect pathways were found between IPC and internalizing symptoms through appraisals of threat and self-blame. An indirect pathway was also found through threat appraisals and primary control coping. Indirect pathways involving threat appraisals and secondary control coping, self-blame appraisals and primary control coping, and self-blame appraisals and secondary control coping were nonsignificant. Furthermore, the interaction term of IPC and family cohesion did not predict either appraisals of threat or self-blame. The interaction term of IPC and gender predicted threat appraisals so that girls demonstrated higher levels of threat appraisals than boys. This interaction term did not predict self-blame appraisals. Implications of this study are discussed.


Advisors: Laura D. Pittman.||Committee members: David Bridgett; Nina Mounts; Julia Ogg; Thomas Smith; Karen White.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


112 pages




Northern Illinois University

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