Several factors impact a child's adjustment after a parental divorce; a well-established one is the level of parental conflict during and after a divorce. Research is beginning to investigate the biological mechanisms that may be impacted by childhood trauma in general and parental high conflict specifically. This paper reviews the existing research concerning the relationship between exposure to high parental conflict/trauma and the biological stress response system (the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical axis and the sympathetic nervous system), sleep, and psychological maladjustment. We propose a conceptual model linking biological and psychological responses and discuss suggestions for future research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)