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These findings suggest that the meanings boys and girls ascribe to interparental conflict are important for understanding how family experiences contribute to the development of romantic relationships.=183) who lived with married parents completed questionnaires about their parents’ marriage and their own romantic relationships.Adolescents’ perceptions and appraisals of interparental conflict were related to the amount of conflict in romantic relationship and adolescents’ conflict styles.Negotiation maximizes the potential for relationship preservation and can even strengthen relationships (Hartup, 1992).
Likewise, interparental conflict could predispose adolescents to non-aggressive, destructive conflict tactics.
Unlike family relationships, where conflicts are frequently resolved through submission or escalation, romantic relationships require adolescents to manage differences by balancing their own needs with those of the partner and the relationship (Laursen, Finkelstein, & Betts, 2001).
The voluntary, egalitarian nature of romantic relationships motivates most adolescents to negotiate mutually agreeable solutions to disagreements.
In support of this idea, adolescents exposed to marital violence have more conflictual romantic relationships, more often use aggressive conflict styles, and more often view dating aggression as justifiable (Kinsfogel & Grych, 2004; Linder & Collins, 2005; Reitzel-Jaffe & Wolfe, 2001).
Yet even intense interparental conflict is not necessarily aggressive, and non-aggressive marital conflict could also predispose adolescents to destructive conflict behavior.