Title

If Momma Ain't Happy: Explaining Declines in Marital Satisfaction Among New Mothers

Keywords

equity, marital satisfaction, motherhood, religion, role traditionalization, time use

Abstract

This study tests competing explanations for the link between the transition to motherhood and declines in wives' marital satisfaction. Using data from the first and second waves of the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 569), we found that new mothers' marital satisfaction declines could be attributed to reductions in wives' quality time spent with their husbands and to increases in perceptions of unfairness in housework. Family role traditionalization in the wake of the birth of a child did not directly explain marital satisfaction declines but was linked to perceptions of marital unfairness. Attendance at religious worship services did not moderate the association between the transition to motherhood and marital satisfaction changes.

Original Publication Citation

Dew, J. P., & Wilcox, W. B. (2011). If momma ain’t happy: Explaining declines in marital satisfaction among new mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 1–12.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2011-01-10

Publisher

Journal of Marriage and Family

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Share

COinS