Personal, interpersonal and infant characteristics as predictors of marital satisfaction during the transition to parenthood Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9z903355w

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  • Ninety-six couples were studied during the transition to parenthood in order to assess a) relative contributions of equity and traditionality in sex role attitudes to marital satisfaction prior to parenthood, b) changes in marital satisfaction and equity after the birth of the infant and c) contributions of traditionality, equity, father involvement and infant temperament to marital satisfaction after the birth of the infant. All data were analyzed separately for males and females to examine differences in gender response. A series of hierarchical regressions were used to determine contributions of predictor variables to marital satisfaction both prebirth and postbirth. Repeated measures analysis of variance (gender x time) were used to evaluate changes in marital satisfaction and equity, and a contingency analysis was used to determine categorical changes in equity. At the pretest equity contributed significantly to marital satisfaction for females only. While neither gender showed significant change in equity postbirth, both genders had a significant decline in marital satisfaction. Women's evaluations of their postbirth marital relationship was positively influenced by more non-traditional sex role attitudes and greater father involvement in infant care and negatively influenced by a more temperamentally active infant. Men's postbirth marital satisfaction was not influenced by any of these factors. Equity contributed significantly to the decline of postbirth marital satisfaction for both genders, though more for men than women. Father involvement in the care of the infant was very limited and did not relate to perceptions of equity. These results suggest that women's perception of marital satisfaction after parenthood is more complex than her spouse's, while the amount and significance of father's involvement with infant caretaking suggest little recent change in family practices of infant care.
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