In order to explore cultural differences in the effects of marital conflict on children and to determine the universality of family processes, Dr. Mark Cummings and his research team have begun to extend their work to cross-cultural directions. Dr. Cummings has conducted research projects in Chile, Israel and Wales. Currently the Northern Ireland Project is in its fifth wave of data collection and planning for a project in Croatia is underway.
In order to examine cross-cultural differences between U.S. and Chilean cultures, Dr. Cummings research has explored the reactions of Chilean and U.S. children to marital discord (Cummings, et al. 2003). To further explore whether effects of marital discord are culture-specific or culture-universal, Dr. Cummings' work has also investigated similarities and differences in the reactions of Israeli and U.S. kindergarteners to video analog presentations of resolved and unresolved marital conflicts (Shamir, Cummings, Davies, & Goeke-Morey, 2005).
A third area of cross-cultural research explored the effects of constructive and destructive marital conflict tactics on U.S. and Welsh children, testing family characteristics in different cultures. This work represents an extension of Dr. Goeke-Morey's (1999) study of effects of specific marital conflict tactics on children. Since Wales is historically noted for its close family and community relationships, Dr. Goeke-Morey [link to Marcie's page] and Dr. Cummings investigated differences between U.S. and Welsh children's responses to video analog presentations that presented everyday conflict tactics between adults representing their parents. Finally, recognizing the ongoing violence, conflict, and political disturbances in Northern Ireland, Dr. Cummings is exploring how marital, familial, community, and cultural conflict and violence in Northern Ireland interrelate to affect children's well-being and development.
Cummings, E. M., Wilson, J., & Shamir, H. (2003). Reactions of Chilean and American children to marital discord. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 437 - 444.
Goeke-Morey, M. C., Cummings, E. M., Harold, G. T., & Shelton, K. H. (2003). Categories and continua of destructive and constructive marital conflict tactics from the perspective of Welsh and US children. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 327-338.
Shamir, H., Cummings, E. M., Davies, P. T., & Goeke-Morey, M. C. (2005). Children's reactions to marital conflict in Israel and in the US. Manuscript submitted for publication.