Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Mark Rapport


The present investigation examined the relationship between children's exposure to low to moderate rates of marital discord in the familial environment and their behavior in settings external to the home as assessed by adult raters and direct observations. Sixty children (36 males, 24 females) between the ages of 6 and 13 years were estudied over the course of 3 months. Results of a multi-step analysis indicated that there was a highly significant relationship among females of low SES status between exposure to marital discord at home and being the object of peer aggression during free play activity. A significant relationship was also found between exposure to marital discord at home and externalizing behavior problems (aggression towards peers) for subsamples of male children in the present study who were younger and less intelligent. The implications of these results for understanding the complex factors affecting the relationship between marital discord and childrens' behavioral disturbances are discussed.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.