‘Triangulation’, marital discord and child behaviour problems

Michael A. Westerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have so far provided little understanding of mechanisms underlying observed associations between marital discord and child behaviour problems. I argue that recent findings pointing beyond the parent-child dyad should lead us not only to look at other ‘parts’ of the family, but also to develop conceptual and methodological approaches that depart from those that have so far guided studies of dyadic relationships. I present an overview of a programme of research that investigates marital discord-behaviour problem relationships in terms of the family therapy concept of triangulation. The goals of the article are to describe one response to one issue in the ‘beyond the dyad’ area (the issue of mechanisms) and to provide general guidelines for developing family level research strategies to investigate other issues in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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