Parental Conflict: Outcomes and interventions for children and families

Author(s): Jenny Reynolds, Catherine Houlston , Lester Coleman, Gordon Harold

Couple & Family Therapy | Social Work | Children & Adolescents | Domestic Violence

There is increasing Government recognition of the importance of early family experiences on long-term individual and family level outcomes and a better understanding of how inter-parental conflict influences children's development is key to helping practitioners and policy makers promote improved outcomes for children.


This accessible book reviews recent research showing how children who experience high levels of inter-parental conflict are at serious risk not only in terms of their own well-being, but also in relation to the perpetuation of these behaviours later in life. It examines the differences between 'destructive' and 'constructive' conflict and how they affect children, explores why some children are more adversely affected than others, and features the latest evidence on how conflict impacts on child physiology. Of particular note is the book's focus on the growing literature on conflict interventions that have shown an expansion of evidence within the last decade.


A primer for practitioners working with families, policy makers, students and academics, it will show how to improve the tomorrows for children who experience challenging family experiences today.

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"An excellent work that provides convincing evidence about why parents' unresolved fights can harm children, how that harm occurs, and what can be done about it." ---Professor Philip Cowan, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

"This book provides a very clear summary of the latest research and interventions for families exposed to inter-parental conflict. A must-have resource for practitioners, students and policy makers alike."---Professor Leslie Leve, University of Oregon, USA.

Jenny Reynolds is an independent researcher specialising in family relationships and an OnePlusOne Associate. She is committed to applying research to policy and practice development;


Dr Catherine Houlston is a Senior Research Officer at OnePlusOne and has a research background in Developmental Psychology.


Lester Coleman is Head of Research at OnePlusOne and has over 20 years of experience in young people, family health and relationships research;


Professor Gordon Harold is Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair in Psychology (University of Sussex), and an internationally renowned expert in child development and the role of the family in children's psychological development.

Conflict in context; Understanding conflict - what matters?; What is the impact of inter-parental conflict on children?; How does inter-parental conflict affect children?; Risk and resilience: why are some children affected more than others?; Review of conflict-based interventions for couples; Implications for practice - How to help families; Conclusions and recommendations.

General Fields

  • : 9781447315810
  • : Policy Press
  • : Policy Press
  • : January 2014
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 306.874
  • : 152
  • : black & white tables, figures
  • : Jenny Reynolds, Catherine Houlston , Lester Coleman, Gordon Harold
  • : Paperback