Examining children's physiological functioning is an important direction for understanding the links between interparental conflict and child adjustment. Utilizing growth mixture modeling, the present study examined children's cortisol reactivity patterns in response to a marital dispute. Analyses revealed three different patterns of cortisol responses, consistent with both a sensitization and an attenuation hypothesis. Child-rearing disagreements and perceived threat were associated with children exhibiting a rising cortisol pattern, whereas destructive conflict was related to children displaying a flat pattern. Physiologically rising patterns were also linked with emotional insecurity and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Results supported a sensitization pattern of responses as maladaptive for children in response to marital conflict, with evidence also linking an attenuation pattern with increased family risk. The findings of the present study support children's adrenocortical functioning as one mechanism through which interparental conflict is related to children's coping responses and psychological adjustment. (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.