Transition to Parenthood - Changes In The Marital Relationship Essays

Transition to Parenthood - Changes In The Marital Relationship Essays

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Transition to parenthood is one of the most demanding and increasingly complex life experiences that sets a couple’s future relationship trajectory for determining the quality and stability of their relationship (Kluwer, 2010). The infant’s arrival requires the couple to adjust not only to daily baby care chores but also to the new roles of parents, often leaving the interpersonal relationship between husband and wife to a low priority. The prevailing majority of scholarship describe different levels of decline in the quality of marital relationship postpartum (Wallace & Gotlib, 1990; Helms-Erikson, 2001; Twenge, Campbell, & Foster, 2003; Mitnick, Heyman, & Smith Slep, 2009; Kluwer, 2010; Umberson, Pudrovska, & Reczek, 2010). At the same time, some scholarship explains how couples have more joy, happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because of the baby (Petch & Halford, 2008; Nelson et al., 2013), while other findings report identical levels of marital happiness before and after birth of the baby (Amato et al., 2003). A genuine controversy lies in whether a decrease or increase of couple happiness takes place at transition to parenthood. During this transitioning process, new sets of tasks challenge the couples to act in new roles and adjust their daily routines, behavior, and relationship. When the couples experience less relationship distress in completing the transition tasks, they have a higher potential to create a positive context for raising an emotionally and physically healthy child and less chances for divorce. Because divorce has negative lasting effects on descendants for the next three generations, including lower education attainment, lower income, higher relationship distress, and higher chances...

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...marital satisfaction: A meta‐analytic review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 574-583. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00574.x
Umberson, D., Pudrovska, T., & Reczek, C. (2010). Parenthood, childlessness, and wellbeing: A life course perspective. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 612-629. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00721.x
Wallace, P. M., & Gotlib, I. H. (1990). Marital adjustment during the transition to parenthood: Stability and predictors of change. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 21-29. Retrieved from:
Wilcox, W., & Dew, J. (2011). Motherhood and marriage: A response. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 29-32. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00786.x
Woodin, E. M. (2011). A two-dimensional approach to relationship conflict: Meta-analytic findings. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 325-335. doi:10.1037/a0023791

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