ERIC Number: ED334494
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Does Relational Efficacy Index Interactional Behaviors Associated with Marital Satisfaction across the Transition to Parenthood?
Irwin, Ruth Ann C.; And Others
Many couples suffer a decline in marital satisfaction over the transition to parenthood. Previous research indicated that a couple's relational efficacy (a measure of a couple's belief in their ability to solve problems) before the birth of their first child was one of the strongest predictors of their marital satisfaction after the birth. This study investigated the correlation between couples' (N=33) behaviors and the specific efficacy rating given to the topic they were discussing. Relational efficacy was assessed by giving couples a list of 12 specific topic areas where married couples commonly have disagreements, for example, in-laws or money. Results indicated that: (1) relational efficacy was strongly correlated with couples' problem-solving behaviors; (2) when both specific relational efficacy and the probability of husband and wife problem-solving behaviors were used to predict changes in marital satisfaction, the variance which they accounted for overlapped, implying that relational efficacy predicted change in marital satisfaction because it was related to couples' problem-solving behaviors; and (3) several problem-solving behaviors were strong predictors of change in marital satisfaction, with wife emotional validators and husband problem-solving facilitators predicting increased satisfaction, while husband problem-solving inhibitors and husband depressives predicted decreased satisfaction. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.; Catholic Univ. of America, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Relational Efficacy (Marriage)
Note: Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting (Seattle, WA, April 18-21, 1991).