Intergenerational transmission of relationship functioning during the transition to parenthood
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The current study examined whether pre-birth risk factors mediate the relation between family of origin risk factors and couples’ relationship functioning after birth. Participants in the present study were 132 heterosexual couples who had their first child during the course of a larger, longitudinal study (Laurenceau et al., 2004). Results showed several significant mediation effects for both mothers and fathers. Additionally, for fathers, family-of-origin factors did not appear to directly influence their transition to parenthood, but were related to functioning before birth. For mothers, family-of-origin risk factors appeared to both directly and indirectly influence their relationship functioning after the birth of a child. Information on how pre-birth functioning risk factors mediate family of origin risk factors to the transition to parenthood is useful to psychologists who wish to intervene and assist at risk couples through the transition. This study contributes to the literature by illustrating a more complete picture of which individuals may be at risk during the transition to parenthood, which will allow psychologists to tailor their interventions to those it will help most.
Carhart, Kathryn (2008). Intergenerational transmission of relationship functioning during the transition to parenthood. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from