Changes in Marital Satisfaction Across the Transition to Parenthood: The Role of Adult Attachment Orientations

Jamie L. Kohn, Steven W. Rholes, Jeffry A. Simpson, A. Mc Leish Martin, Si Si Tran, Carol L. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study investigated marital satisfaction trajectories across the first 2 years of parenthood. Data were collected from new parents (couples) 6 weeks before the birth of their first child, and then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postpartum. Growth curve models revealed two key findings. First, for highly anxious individuals, satisfaction was lower or declined when they perceived their partners as less supportive and as behaving more negatively toward them. Second, for highly avoidant individuals, satisfaction was lower or declined when they perceived more work-family conflict and greater demands from their families. The findings suggest that attachment insecurities predict dissatisfaction in new parents primarily when stressors block the pursuit of important attachment goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1522
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume38
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH49599 to Jeffry A. Simpson and W. Steven Rholes.

Keywords

  • adult attachment
  • family
  • marriage
  • romantic relationships
  • social support

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