- Thursday 2 Apr 2020, 11:30 - 13:00
- PhD defence
- Senate Hall
- Erasmus Building
- Campus Woudestein
On Thursday 2 April 2020, W.M. van Eldik will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Happy Parents, Happy Kids? A Longitudinal Study on the Interparental Relationship, Child Development, and Parental Functioning’.
Family researchers have emphasized the romantic relationship between two parents – the interparental relationship – as an important context in which children grow up (e.g., Cox & Paley, 1997; Davies & Cummings, 2016). Consistent with these ideas, researchers have repeatedly shown a link between the interparental relationship and child functioning (e.g., Harold & Sellers, 2018). How and why the interparental relationship and children’s problem behavior are associated is however not fully understood. Therefore, in the current dissertation we studied five research questions to enhance knowledge about these important processes. First, an important step in understanding this link is concept clarity; which aspects specifically constitute the “interparental relationship”? A large variety of terminology to describe the interparental relationship appears in the literature. We aimed to propose a clear conceptualization of the interparental relationship. This led to our second question: are certain aspects of the interparental relationship more important for children’s functioning? And, do these aspects of the interparental relationship and children’s problem behavior affect each other over time? Third, we examined two factors that could explain why the interparental relationship and children’s problem behavior are associated: the extent to which parents feel competent in their parenting role and children’s sense of emotional insecurity in the interparental relationship. Fourth, we studied the question whether certain children are more susceptible for the quality of or conflict in their parents’ relationship than others, based on their gender, age, and personality traits. Fifth, considering the importance of parenting behavior for children’s well-being, we examined the quality of the interparental relationship as a mechanism through which mother’s and fathers’ personal characteristics affect their own and their partners’ parenting behavior.
The public defence will take place at the Senatehall, 1st floor of the Erasmus Building, Campus Woudestein. The ceremony will begin exactly at 11.30 hrs. In light of the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.