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CANCELED: Connie Gager, Montclair State University

Union Dissolution or Conflict?: The Interactive Effect of Parental Marital Status and Conflict on Adult Children’s Relationship Conflict
When Nov 20, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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Due to a family emergency, this seminar has been canceled.  We hope to reschedule to fall of 2018



About the Presentation

Dr. Connie Gager will discuss a project written with colleagues Dr. Yabiku, Dr. Linver and Dr. Pax.  In this research, the aim is to understand the long term impacts of how parental conflict and marital status influence adult child relational conflict. Specifically, they examine the effect of parents’ marital status (single, cohabiting, married, divorced) and conflict when children are young on these same children’s conflict within current cohabiting or marital unions when they are adults. Using waves 1 and 2 of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), they construct a history of parent relationship conflict and union status. They use NSFH wave 3 to capture their main outcome variables, adult children’s reports of their level of disagreement with their current partner. They find that children with high conflict parents in their childhood report higher partner conflict themselves as adults approximately 15 years later. The key finding is that children who had high conflict parents report less conflict in their own adult relationship, if their parents ended their cohabiting or marital relationship compared to children from high conflict families whose parents remained together through the 6 years between waves 1 and 2. This research suggests that for high conflict families “staying together for the sake of the children” may have more adverse consequences for adult children’s relationships compared to parental dissolution.

About the Speaker

Broadly, Dr. Gager's research examines the intersection of work, family, and gender through a sociological and demographic lens. She is in the early stages of a study of marriage postponement, work satisfaction, and community creation in urban areas among Millennials. Her recent research examines how parent’s level of conflict and marital status affect their adult children’s current relationship status and perceived relationship quality using three waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. Previous research has centered on perceptions of fairness in the household division of labor among married couples, and the correlation between spousal time spent on housework and their sexual frequency. In addition, Dr. Gager has published research on adolescent time use, across the family, school, and paid work arenas. She earned her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and completed an NICHD NRSA individual postdoctoral fellowship at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. She has taught at Swarthmore College, UPENN, and Arizona State University. Currently teaching Introduction to Family Studies, Family Sociology, Families & Children in Urban Society, and Senior Seminar at Montclair State University.

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