Partner predictors of marital aggression across the transition to parenthood: An I 3 approach

Jami Eller, Emma M. Marshall, W. Steven Rholes, Grace Vieth, Jeff Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The stress that arises during the transition to parenthood often places significant strain on marriages that can result in marital problems such as aggression victimization. In this research, we use an I 3 framework to identify specific partner variables that are likely to promote physical aggression victimization across the transition to parenthood. Examining both intercepts (i.e., mean levels of aggression victimization estimated at childbirth) and slopes (e.g., changes in aggression victimization estimated over time), we find support for a three-way interaction anticipated by the I 3 framework. Specifically, male partners were more likely to report being the victim of aggression at childbirth and also during the 24 months that followed when their female partner reported experiencing greater parental stress (an instigator to aggression in the I 3 framework), greater relationship-specific attachment avoidance (an impellor to aggression), and lower relationship satisfaction (the lack of an inhibitor to aggression). Implications for the prevention of marital aggression associated with these I 3 factors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1508
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019

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 study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number MH49599 to Jeffry A. Simpson and W. Steven Rholes.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • Aggression
  • attachment
  • marital satisfaction
  • stress
  • transition to parenthood


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