Caputi, M., Forresi, B., Giani, L., & Scaini, S. (2022). Cooperation with teachers as a mediator of the relationship between family conflict and children’s psychological difficulties. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20), 13151.


Parent–child conflict can have a series of negative consequences concerning youth emotional and behavioral development. The link between family conflict and children’s externalizing symptoms is well established, whereas the association with internalizing symptoms is less explored. Within the school context, children are engaged in other meaningful relationships (i.e., with teachers and peers) which contribute to their growth. This cross-sectional study aimed at understanding whether a cooperative behavior with the teachers is able to mediate the association between parent–child conflict and children’s psychopathological symptoms. We recruited 319 (150 boys) school-aged children (M = 11.3 years; SD = 1.8 years) and their parents and teachers. Children self-reported on their internalizing symptoms, whereas parents completed a questionnaire concerning their relationship with the child, and teachers rated children’s behavior and internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Analyses conducted through Hayes’ PROCESS tool showed that cooperation with the teacher partially mediated the association between parent–child conflict and child-reported depressive symptoms. Notably, cooperative behavior fully mediated the link between parent–child conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms reported by teachers. Difficulties exhibited at school partly derive from a conflictual home environment. Our findings showed that such problems can be reduced thanks to a cooperative relationship with the teacher