Changes in women's marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood: the role of personal adaptability

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Family & Consumer Studies
Author Ray, Robyn Wilhelmina
Title Changes in women's marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood: the role of personal adaptability
Date 2012-08
Description Married couples expecting the birth of their first child usually wait in excited anticipation with the thought of bringing a child into the home. The arrival of a child requires extensive preparation and the experience of transitioning from coupledom to parenthood is met with major changes and challenges for the new parents. These changes and challenges result in decreases of marital satisfaction. The changes married couples experience with the birth of their first child are so profound that researchers in the past have referred to this period of transitioning to parenthood as one of "crisis." However, more recent research refers to this transitioning as a "process" or "developmental phase." The more recent conceptualization does not necessarily diminish the idea of "crisis" as characteristic of the transition, but does acknowledge that marital satisfaction may not change at the same pace for all married couples. Many new parents experience a decline in marital satisfaction; some experience increases in marital satisfaction, while still others stay stable in their reports of marital satisfaction. This study sought to look more closely at first-time mothers' perceptions of their marital satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. More specifically, this study considered whether such differences in mothers' perceptions of marital satisfaction over time might be explained by examination of a number of personal adaptations. Thirty-two married women provided self-reports of multiple personal characteristics during the third trimester of pregnancy; these subjects also reported on their marital satisfaction on four occasions across a one-year transition-to-parenthood period. Personal adaptability data were subject to a cluster analysis to examine the extent to which group differences on these measures inform changes in marital satisfaction across the transition-to-parenthood period. The findings reiterate that marital satisfaction does indeed change over time and that women grouped into a more adaptable set of personal characteristics are better equipped to handle the changes and challenges that the transition to parenthood brings than women grouped into a less adaptable set of personal characteristics.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Adaptability; Changes; Marital; Parenthood; Satisfaction; Transition
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Science in Human Development and Social Policy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Robyn Wilhelmina Ray 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 507,699 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/1776
ARK ark:/87278/s6dn4kw0
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-08-02
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 195465
Reference URL
Back to Search Results