Commitment across the transition to parenthood among married and cohabiting couples.

Claire M. Kamp Dush, Galena K. Rhoades, Sara E. Sandberg-Thoma, Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commitment has long been hypothesized to increase across the transition to parenthood, even though much research has found that relationship functioning declines during this period. We examined change in interpersonal commitment, measured as personal dedication and relationship confidence, and constraint commitment, measured as felt constraint, across the transition to parenthood. We tested for marital status differences in the change in commitment across the transition among three groups: cohabitation, marriage preceded by cohabitation, and direct marriage. Data came from the New Parents Project, a community sample of 173 married and cohabiting couples. Difference-indifference estimates indicated that cohabiting fathers, in comparison to married fathers, dropped further in personal dedication and relationship confidence and increased more in felt constraint across the transition to parenthood. No significant differences across the transition were found between cohabiting and married mothers. Further research on the transition to parenthood among unmarried couples is suggested.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Commitment across the transition to parenthood among married and cohabiting couples.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this