Marital Satisfaction and the Transition to Fatherhood
McDaniel, Brandon; Lopez, Sheila; Holmes, Erin K.
The perceptions of marital satisfaction across the transition to fatherhood of 54 Brigham Young University (BYU) students were surveyed using an online questionnaire. It was hypothesized that (1) father’s expectations would not match the way tasks actually were divided, (2) fathers who felt that they were making a contribution to their family and felt that their wives appreciated that contribution would have higher marital quality, (3) fathers who were better able to communicate with their wives would be more satisfied with their marriage, (4) fathers who felt the support of their wives and others would better be able to adjust to work pressures and fatherhood, and (5) fathers whose expectations had been fulfilled or exceeded would better adjust to the transition. Fathers who rated higher marital satisfaction were compared to those with slightly lower satisfaction. Significant differences were found between fathers’ expected division of child care tasks and how tasks were actually divided. Communication and quality time with spouse were found to be the greatest determinates of marital satisfaction. The reasons for these results are discussed.