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Lux, Ulrike; Walper, Sabine (2019): A systemic perspective on children's emotional insecurity in relation to father: links to parenting, interparental conflict and children's social well-being. In: Attachment & Human Development, Vol. 21, No. 5: pp. 467-484
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Abstract

Focusing on the father-child-relationship in a family systems perspective, this paper investigates longitudinal links of parenting, interparental conflict, and positive regard by both parents, to their emotional insecurity with father and mother. Furthermore, to clarify fathers' contribution to children's social development, aspects of the relationship to both parents are jointly considered. The sample was drawn from the German family panel pairfam and included 372 family triads with parents' and children's self-reports. Findings revealed consistent associations between interparental conflict and lack of positive regard and emotional insecurity, while parenting had no independent links with children's emotional insecurity or social adjustment. Controlling for the stability of child outcomes, interparental conflict predicted children's lower prosocial behavior and higher peer rejection. In addition, peer rejection was predicted by children's emotional insecurity with father. The findings are in line with the emotional security hypothesis and highlight the importance of the father-child-relationship for developing positive peer relationships.