Relational processes as predictors of relationship satisfaction trajectories across the transition to parenthood
SourceFamily Relations, (2021)
06 mei 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Objective: To identify subgroups of parents with distinct patterns of change in relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood and predict subgroup membership from prenatal levels of relational processes. Background: The average decline in relationship satisfaction that is generally found across the transition to parenthood masks the existence of subgroups of parents who show distinct patterns of change across the transition to parenthood. Method: Latent class growth analysis (LCGA) was conducted using four waves of data from a Dutch sample of 440 first-time parents (210 couples; pregnancy to 1 year postpartum). Subgroups subsequently were examined to explore differences in prenatal relational processes. Results: More than half of parents reported no change in relationship satisfaction after childbirth, and only small subgroups of new parents experienced strong declines. Levels of one's own and one's partner's relationship maintenance behavior, perceived responsiveness, and accommodation during pregnancy predicted subgroup membership. Conclusion: The results underscore the importance of examining heterogeneity in relationship change across the transition to parenthood, and prenatal levels of relational processes are associated with differential relationship satisfaction trajectories. Implications The results imply that targeting the group of parents that are most at risk for relationship satisfaction decline after childbirth and starting relationship interventions during pregnancy may contribute to the effectiveness of interventions.
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