The effect of first pregnancy on selected aspects of the marital relationship

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca B. Saunders, Associate Dean, Graduate School (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy White

Abstract: Marital adjustment during the first pregnancy was explored initially by comparing couples in early pregnancy to those in late pregnancy on interpersonal conflict, marital satisfaction, and time spent apart. The second approach was to determine whether preferences the couples held for gender roles had an impact on the same three aspects of the marital relationship. Couples were recruited from local health agencies where women received prenatal care. The sample consisted of 100 white couples, 48 of whom were in early pregnancy and 52 in late pregnancy. Each couple provided demographic data and completed a questionnaire which included the Attitudes toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1978), a scale developed by Braiker and Kelley (1979) measuring conflict in close relationships, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (Schumm et al., 1983), and a set of questions developed by the investigator about time spent on various activities. The early and late groups were comparable on demographic characteristics. T test comparisons of the early and late pregnancy groups showed that wives but not husbands in late pregnancy reported more interpersonal conflict than those in early pregnancy, a difference which was statistically different but small. There were no differences in marital satisfaction or time spent apart between the early and late group. Additionally, the couples were categorized according to gender role preferences (both traditional, both nontraditional, and mixed). Simple ANOVA revealed that these three groups did not differ on conflict or marital satisfaction.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1985
Pregnancy $x Psychological aspects
Married people
Interpersonal conflict
Interpersonal relations

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