ERIC Number: ED345120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May
Factors Affecting Marital Adjustment during the Transition to Parenthood: A Review of the Relevant Literature, 1983-1990.
Siemens, Karen Joy
The belief that the birth of a first child has an effect on the parents' relationship is accepted in the literature, as well as in society at large. This study reviewed the research that explores the relationship between the transition to parenthood and marital adjustment during the transition. Most of the studies reviewed suffer to some degree from methodological weaknesses. The most common weaknesses include: use of self-report measures; use of measures with questionable reliability and validity; attrition in longitudinal studies; sampling bias; and lack of a control group. Marital satisfaction has been shown to decrease during the transition to parenthood, even though there is a decreased likelihood of divorce for new parents. Several researchers have found that one of the best predictors of marital satisfaction after the birth of a child is the level of satisfaction before and during pregnancy. The following conclusions are supported by the body of literature concerning marital satisfaction: (1) marital intimacy tends to decrease in varying degrees, depending at least in part upon the direction it was going prenatally: (2) role changes are best handled when they are discussed and anticipated; and (3) postpartum depression may exacerbate, and/or be worsened by the tensions within the marriage. Since marriages are affected by the birth of the first child, it is important that attention be given to therapy approaches for both prevention and intervention. (LLL)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctoral research paper, Biola University.