What does the evidence tell us about the impact of parental conflict on children?

Strong scientific evidence shows that conflict between parents can affect multiple outcomes for children, including emotional, behavioural, social and academic development. Parents in poverty or under economic pressure are more likely to experience relationship conflict, which can be explained by the Family Stress Model. According to the latest DWP estimates, 12% of all children and 21% of children in workless families have parents in a distressed relationship. We have collaborated with Professor Gordon Harold and his team at the University of Sussex on a number of pioneering evidence reviews.

  • Report
  • 2017
  • EIF

What works to enhance interparental relationships and improve outcomes for children?

Groundbreaking 'what works' review of the scientific evidence on how interparental relationships affects outcomes for children, and the interventions designed to address this.

  • Report
  • 2017
  • EIF

Interparental conflict and outcomes for children in contexts of poverty and economic pressure

A comprehensive review of the evidence on how poverty and econonmic pressure affect interparental relationships and child outcomes, including the interventions for families in or at risk of poverty.

  • Infographic
  • 2017
  • EIF

Family Stress Model

Understand how economic pressure impacts on parents' mental health, which can cause increased parental conflict and difficulties with parenting, in turn negatively impacting on child outcomes.

  • Videos
  • 2020
  • new

See It Differently

Watch these short videos to understand new ways of managing conflict and changing how things play out in the household - potentially leading to healthier and happier outcomes for everyone, including children.

  • Policy
  • 2017
  • DWP

Analysis and research pack - Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families

Understand the evidence base that supports the government's 'Improving Lives' policy for workless families, including how parental conflict can be a root cause of multiple disadvantage.

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