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Disagreements within families can occur for several reasons, including marital conflict, mental and physical health conditions and children’s behaviour (1). Between generations, conflict can arise if, for example, children of immigrants adopt their new environment’s values and culture, therefore not meeting their parents expectations (2).


Discord/Conflict Risk

Risk Factor

Family discord is a risk factor for mental health, and can predict future depression, anxiety and conduct problems in young people (3). For example, arguing with parents has been linked to increased symptoms of mental health disorders (4).


More specifically, strained marital relationships and exposure to marital conflict have been associated with increased distress in children and young people, including anxiety and depression (5). Marital discord has also been associated with depressive symptoms in the couple (6).



1.        Family help & wellness. Family Discord - Family Help & Wellness [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2021 Jan 13]. Available from:

2.        Dennis J, Basañez T, Farahmand A. Intergenerational Conflicts Among Latinos in Early Adulthood: Separating Values Conflicts With Parents From Acculturation Conflicts. Hisp J Behav Sci [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2021 Jan 13];32(1):118–35. Available from:

3.        Cummings EM, Koss KJ, Davies PT. Prospective Relations between Family Conflict and Adolescent Maladjustment: Security in the Family System as a Mediating Process. J Abnorm Child Psychol [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2021 Jan 25];43(3):503–15. Available from: /pmc/articles/PMC5865390/?report=abstract

4.        Patalay P, Fitzsimons E. Correlates of Mental Illness and Wellbeing in Children: Are They the Same? Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry [Internet]. 2016;55(9). Available from:

5.        Harold GT, Sellers R. Annual Research Review: Interparental conflict and youth psychopathology: an evidence review and practice focused update. J Child Psychol Psychiatry [Internet]. 2018 Apr 25 [cited 2021 Feb 9];59(4):374–402. Available from:

6.        Whisman MA, Robustelli BL, Labrecque LT. Specificity of the Association between Marital Discord and Longitudinal Changes in Symptoms of Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Fam Process [Internet]. 2018 Sep 1 [cited 2021 Jan 25];57(3):649–61. Available from:


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