Project FLIGHT 2.0

Families Learning, Interacting, and Growing Healthy Together

Principal Investigators

  • Melissa Sturge-Apple, Ph.D.
  • Patrick Davies, Ph.D.


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Project Summary

Project FLIGHT is a multi-method study focused on identifying how parental conflict effects parent-child relationships. The project will follow 250 families with a three-year-old child over the course of a three-year period, in hopes of better understanding the impact of interparental conflict on parenting styles. Using self-reports, interparental problem-solving tasks, parent-child interaction tasks, and neurobiological assessments, Project FLIGHT plans to:

  • Examine whether parents’ neurobiological responses to stress during arguments impact parent-child interactions.
  • Identify how positive aspects of the interparental relationship may serve as an explanation for spillover to the parent-child relationship.
  • Explore how parents handle conflict among themselves, and how they interact with their child as a result.

The primary goal of our research is to determine how and why interparental conflict affects parenting skills, thus ultimately impacting the parent-child system. Understanding why this happens may lead to new interventions for helping families.