The present study examined how marital conflict may compromise parenting by identifying interdependencies across marital and parent-child subsystems in a sample of 86 two-parent families with a child aged 9-13. The study used direct observation of three family discussions to examine interdependencies across family subsystems. The study also assessed whether a history of husband-to-wife aggression strengthened interdependencies. Overall, families with husband-to-wife aggression showed a negative tone that pervaded throughout the family. Consistent with theories about physically aggressive men tending to withdraw from conflict, fathers who had engaged in husband-to-wife aggression showed an association between marital hostilities and lower levels of empathy toward their children. Consistent with stress theories, women who had been exposed to husband-to-wife aggression showed a link between marital hostilities and negative affect when interacting with their children. These findings illustrate how a history of exposure to marital aggression can create a family environment of multiple risks for children. For children in families with prior marital aggression, ongoing marital hostilities can be linked to the additional risk of erosions in parental support.