Good parent-child relationship related to better mental health

Family is an important social environment for children. Marital relationship and parent-child relationship are the most important family relationships for children. Previous studies suggest that social relationships around a person affect his or her mental well-being. Indeed, this study shows that good marital and parent-child relationship are related to better mental health in children.

 Quality of marital relationship

The quality of marital relationship can influence the functions of the whole family. For example, if parents often experience marital conflicts, children may feel pressured, which may be a risk factor for children’s mental health. On the other hand, a high quality relationship between parents may predict enhanced mental health in children.

 Parent-child relationship

Parent-child relationship is an enduring bond between a caregiver and children. Furthermore, a positive relationship may improve children’s mental health. On the other hand, an insecure attachment with parents may trigger mental health problems in children, for example depression and anxiety.


This study used a questionnaire to measure children’s mental health (depression, anxiety, unhappiness, meaninglessness, and sadness), parent-child relationship and marital relationship. The results of the study showed that:

  • Good marital relationship was related to better mental health in children.
  • Good parent-child relationship was related to better mental health in children.
  • In addition, good marital relationship and good parent-child relationship were also related, which further enhanced children’s mental health. In brief, couples who have a supportive marital relationship may be better able to respond to children’s needs.

Scientific Parenting Tips Tips

  • In order to build a positive family environment and protect children’s mental health, try to reduce and resolve conflicts with your partner.
  • Recognize the importance of a good relationship with your partner and children for children’s mental health. Try to improve the relationship with children and your partner if needed.


More Information Scientific Parenting Tips More information

Li, C., Jiang, S., Fan, X., & Zhang, Q. (2018). Exploring the impact of marital relationship on the mental health of children: Does parent–child relationship matter?. Journal of health psychology, 1359105318769348.


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