The present study examined associations between interpersonal traits, measured using self-reports on the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems--Circumplex version (IIP-C), and interpersonal functioning in romantic and parent-child relationships, measured using multiple methods and reporters, among a community sample of 157 families (mothers, fathers, and their 3- to 6-year-old children). First, we conducted confirmatory factor analysis to explicitly test the fit of a bifactor model, derived from previous exploratory analyses of the underlying structure of the IIP-C and consisting of a shared general factor (Distress) and 2 specific factors (Dominance, Love). Next, we conducted multilevel modeling analyses that examined associations between these interpersonal traits and mothers' and fathers' interpersonal functioning while accounting for the nested nature of the data (mother-father, mother-child, and father-child dyads nested within families). Higher levels of Distress and Dominance were associated with lower quality functioning in romantic and parent-child relationships, and, to a lesser extent, Love was associated with higher quality functioning; there was some evidence of curvilinear associations for Dominance with interpersonal functioning. Moderating effects of parent sex revealed several associations that were specific to mothers or to fathers. Findings speak to the nature of interpersonal traits and their behavioral manifestations across different relationships, interaction partners, and interpersonal constructs.
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