Title

Longitudinal Associations Between Relationship Quality and Coparenting Across the Transition to Parenthood: A Dyadic Perspective

Keywords

Relationship Quality, Coparenting, Transition to Parenthood, Dyadic, Love

Abstract

The couple and coparenting relationship are theorized to influence one another in a reciprocal manner over time. Empirical evidence demonstrates cross-sectional associations between the two as well as prospective predictions of coparenting by relationship quality and vice versa. However, less is known about the longitudinal reciprocity between the couple relationship and coparenting from the perspective of both parents. The current study sought to examine longitudinal associations between relationship quality and coparenting support/undermining across the transition to parenthood from a dyadic perspective. Participants were 164 cohabitating heterosexual couples expecting their first child assessed during pregnancy and at 6 and 36 months after birth. Actor Partner Interdependence Modeling (APIM) was used to examine, for both men and women, (1) stability over time in relationship quality and coparenting; (2) reciprocal associations between relationship quality and coparenting support/undermining; as well as (3) the gender differences in those associations. Moderate rank-order stability in relationship quality and coparenting support/undermining across the first three years of parenthood was demonstrated. For women, but not men, findings suggested longitudinal reciprocal associations between relationship quality and coparenting support/undermining. Specifically, our findings suggested that prenatal relationship quality sets the stage for coparenting functioning after birth for both men and women but that coparenting functioning is then connected to subsequent feelings about the romantic relationship only for women.

Original Publication Citation

Le, Y., McDaniel, B. K., Leavitt, C. E., & Feinberg, M. E. (2016) Longitudinal associations between relationship quality and coparenting across the transition to parenthood: A dyadic perspective. Journal of Family Psychology.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2016-05-16

Publisher

Journal of Family Psychology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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