Reducing the Impact of Interpersonal Parental Conflict on Children

Estimated reading time: 1 min

The Early Intervention Foundation has published a helpful and practical planning tool to support local commissioners and leaders of services for children and families to reduce the impact of conflict between parents on children.

The tool is designed and specifically written for public sector leaders and commissioners with responsibility for family services. This includes GPs and Healthworkers, Schools, Local Authorities, Safeguarding Boards and Children’s Services. The Guide even identifies Cafcass as potential users of the Guide, which, as we’ve seen from their own inadequate training in Implacable Hostily and Emotional Harm would not be a bad thing for FCAs to do.

Children and Parental Conflict

Children who witness severe and ongoing parental conflict can display:

  • externalising problems (such as behavioural difficulties, antisocial behavior, conduct disorder)
  • internalising problems (such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety)
  • academic problems
  • physical health problems
  • social and interpersonal relationship problems.

In the long term, the above poor child outcomes are associated with: mental health difficulties, poorer academic outcomes, negative peer relationships, substance misuse, poor future relationship chances, low employability, and heightened interpersonal violence.

The impact of interparental conflict on children can therefore be varied and long-lasting, as well as the risk that relationship behaviours and problems are repeated across the generations, as evidence suggests these children can go on to experience destructive conflict in their own future relationships.

Even if you’re not the target audience for this guide it’s well worth a read.

Where can you get a copy?

Who are the Early Intervention Foundation?

The Early Intervention Foundation (“EIF”) describe themselves as:

We are an independent charity and What Works Centre which champions and supports the use of effective early intervention for children with signals of risk.

Take a look at some of their programmes and resources:


Was this article helpful?