Parenthood is a significant event in a couple’s life marked by many changes that can affect marriage. Depending on how couples handle this new adversity could be the difference between stability and divorce for their family. That is why “For decades, there has been much debate in the marital and family literature on whether having a baby causes substantial declines in the average couple 's relationship” (Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009). Furthermore during the first 5 years of marriage is when couples go through parenthood which have been viewed as when divorce is most prominent in a relationship. In order to prepare new parents against the challenges of parenthood, it’s important to explore the effects of children on marital satisfaction.
Results from past studies are often contradictory to one another. The study by LeMasters (1957) showed that the onset of parenthood will constitute as a crisis event for families. However another research by Russell, suggest that the transition to parenthood can be both a positive and negative event (as cited in Keizer, Dykstra, & Poortman, 2010). The purpose of the study below was to see if the transition to parenthood is really associated with a decline in marital satisfaction. Unlike previous research, this one will include a few changes added in order to improve the validity of the result.
Changes include adding a controlled group (childless couples), so that changes that occur normally in a relationship as time pass won’t be attributed to the transition to parenthood (Lawrence, A. Rothman, Cobb, M. Rothman, & Bradbury, 2008). Only voluntarily childless couples were accepted for the controlled group. This is because couples without ...
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This information is very beneficial to couples because they will now be more prepared to face this inevitable problem that happens to everyone. Some limitations of this experiment is that all the subjects were from one place. A better sample subject could be obtained from picking the samples from across the countries in order to get a better representation. Also the duration of this experiment was 5 years. It is possible that marital satisfaction could improve in a longer experiment. Although this experiment helps confirm some of the questions about the transition to parenthood, many more questions arise from the result. One such question is if nonparents have more marital satisfaction than parents, why do they get divorced more than parents? In the future it would be interesting to test out the benefits of having children and comparing it to the negatives.
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