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Open Access De transitie naar ouderschap en relatietevredenheid - Een longitudinaal dyadisch perspectief

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The transition to parenthood and relationship satisfaction:.

A longitudinal dyadic perspective.

This study investigates to what extent (1) women’s and men’s relationship satisfaction within couples is similarly or differently affected by becoming a parent and (2) to what extent changes in work hours and hours spent on household labor affect a person’s own and their partner’s relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood. We made use of 12 waves of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS). We selected 689 couples, whose relationship remained intact during the period of observation, and where both members were employed, childless and living with their partner (28 percent were married) at the first moment of observation. Making use of a longitudinal dyadic approach to examine the impact of the transition to parenthood on relationship satisfaction, our results unequivocally reveal that relationship satisfaction of both members in a couple changed in tandem after becoming parents. The results indicate that men became less satisfied with their relationship across the transition to parenthood when they themselves spent more hours on household labor and when their spouse spent more hours on household labor. Although work hours and household labor affected people’s own and their spouse’s relationship satisfaction to some extent, these factors could not account for the strong persistent U-shaped effect the birth of a child had on couple’s relationship satisfaction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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