African American Family Functioning: Examining the Relationship between Conflict and Parenting

By Narketta Sparkman and Tamikia Lott.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 15, 2015 $US5.00

Family conflict has a significant impact on family functioning and there is a gap in the research that identifies specific traits of parenting that relate to conflict. This study addresses this gap by noting relationships and utilizing a complex theoretical lens to explore findings. The research question addressed: What is the relationship between family conflict (the amount of openly expressed anger with in the family) and the six dimensions of parenting (i.e., warmth, rejection, structure, chaos, autonomy support, and coercion) among African American families that access inner city Head Start programs? A relationship between parenting dimensions and family conflict was hypothesized. Survey methods were employed to examine fifty five African American families. It was determined that a significant relationships existed between family conflict and structure. The relationship found between structure and family conflict can result from the restrictiveness, demandingness, and control found in the definition of structure. This finding is further examined through the lenses of Bowen family systems theory, conflict theory, and human ecology theory. This finding has implications for human service practice and the focus of future research.

Keywords: Social breakdown, Conflict

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 10, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 15, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 287.801KB)).

Dr. Narketta Sparkman

Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Service Department, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA

Dr. Tamikia Lott

Assistant Professor, Counseling and Human Services Department, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA