Impacts of marital conflicts on child development

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


A child continues to learn from his environment throughout his life since his birth. More than everything, he learns from his parents and their relationship. Being affected by the surrounding culture, he undergoes various physical, psychological, social, and emotional changes throughout his life. These changes could be positive or negative depending upon the nature of the culture. The literature review has been conducted to identify and highlight the causes of conflicts, the effects on various stages of child development, and some of the recommendations to improve the problem. Various databases and search engines, ranging from 1994 to 2015, have been used to conduct a detailed analysis of the problem. Various studies illustrate the negative impacts of marital conflicts at each stage of a child's development, i.e., from infancy till adulthood. During infancy, exposure to distress results in hampered physical growth and psycho-social withdrawal (Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, 2009). Similarly, during childhood, it results in diminished selfconcept and social incompetence (Campbell & Lewandowski, 1997). Conflicts during adolescence result in isolation, risk-taking behaviors, and hostility in future relationships (Arshat, 2013). Likewise, during adulthood, it leads to increased risks of divorce. Various socio-cultural, and economic, or sometimes the mixture of these are responsible behind this issue. Therefore, a multi-dimensional approach is required to resolve the problem. Children, being the most vulnerable population, require immediate interventions to prevent the adverse consequences. A collaborative effort of health professionals, society and governmental organizations is required to control these existing trends.


i-Manager's Journal on Nursing