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Balancing Fatherhood - Thesis Defense ODU


Ralitsa Maduro

on 13 April 2014

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Transcript of Balancing Fatherhood - Thesis Defense ODU

Balancing Parenthood: Men's Prenatal Expectations and the Family System
Ralitsa S. Maduro
M.S. December 2011, Francis Marion University
B.S. December 2007, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Coparenting Expectations and Experiences
Dyadic Stability and Adjustment during the Transition to Parenthood
The Family System - Crossover Mechanisms
Theoretical Background
Relationship Satisfaction and the Transition to Parenthood
Study Design
Coparenting and The Family System
Early Family Lab
Department of Psychology
Old Dominion University

The focus of this study was on the relationship between coparenting expectations and later experiences of new parents. Men becoming fathers.
- Theoretical Background
- Coparenting and the Family System
- Relationship Satisfaction and the
Transition to Parenthood

- Participants
- Procedures
- Measures
- Analyses
Hypotheses 1a-b
Hypotheses 2a-b
Hypotheses 3a-b
Hypotheses 4a-b
Hypotheses 5a-c
Participants & Procedures
Participants & Procedures Cont.
All 8 covariates used in all models:
- Employment Status Father/Mother
- Income Father/Mother
- Education Father/Mother
- Depression Father/Mother

Model 1 - Latent Variable Model
Respecification 1 - Model 2
Respecification 2 - Model 3
Model 3 - Indirect Effects
Family Systems Theory
- Individuals affect each others expectations and experiences surrounding the transition to parenthood.
- Model 1
- Model 2
- Model 3
- Significant Indirect Effects
Transition to Parenthood
- negotiating coparenting is stressful for men and women, whether positive or negative
Positive Coparenting
- associated with lower rates of postpartum depression, less intimate partner violence, and lower rates of divorce
Balanced child rearing and division of household labor more stable family units, better child outcomes
More support and less undermining healthier spousal communication , and more satisfaction with partner romantic relationship
Fagan & Cabrera (2012), Feinberg (2003), Van Egeren & Hawkin (2004)
Feingerg (2003), Minuchin (1985), Cabrera, Tamis-LeMonda, Bradley, Hofferth, & Lamb (2000)

Fathers during the Transition to Parenthood
- relationship satisfaction is vulnerable to dissatisfaction
with childcare involvement
- more likely to withdraw from involvement with childcare
Mothers during the Transition to Parenthood
- relationship satisfaction also affected by satisfaction with
childcare involvement, however less so than men's
- more vulnerable to dissatisfaction with division of
household labor (including childcare)
- much less likely to withdraw from direct involvement
with childcare

Isacco, Garfiled, & Rogers (2010), Schoppe - Sullivan, & Mangelsdorf (2013), Baxter, & Western (1998)
The Current Study
Secondary Data Analysis

Replication - results of McHale et al. (2004)

Expansion - adding additional time points to examine crossover effects
5(a) - The positive relationship between anticipated satisfaction with childcare and relationship satisfaction of both parents at 6 months postpartum will be weaker in the presence of observed coparenting conflict.

5(b) - The positive relationship between actual childcare satisfaction at 3 months postpartum and relationship satisfaction of both parents at 6 months postpartum will be weaker in the presence of observed coparenting conflict.

5(c) - The relationship between anticipated childcare satisfaction and relationship satisfaction for both parents at 6 months postpartum, will be stronger in the presence of satisfaction with actual childcare balance at 3 months postpartum.
Indirect Effects
R21 - funded by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
4-phase, 9 month longitudinal study
78 father-mothers couples (156 participants)



Age M=31.5(SD= 5.5) M=29.7 (SD= 5.1)

11 recruitment sites

Study enrolled couples who were heterosexual, cohabiting, and first time parents

Participants were reimbursed for each part of the study
- Visit 1- third trimester of pregnancy interview
- Visit 2- phone interview
- Visit 3- 3 months postpartum lab visit
- Visit 4- 6 months postpartum lab visit

Observed Coparenting
- Lausanne Triadic Play (LTP) via Coparenting Family Rating System (CFRS; Fivaz-Depeursinge & Corboz-Warner, 1999).

Satisfaction with childcare/houshold tasks balance
- The Who Does What (WDW; Cowan & Cowan (1988)

Relationship Satisfaction
- The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS; Spanier, 1976).

- The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977).

Demographic information
- Education, Income, Employment Status
Hypothesized direct and indirect effects were examined via structural equation modeling (SEM)
The SEM models were estimated with Mplus version7
Maximum Likelihood (ML) method
Fit statistics:
- Chi-Square test
- Root mean square error of
approximation (RMSEA)
-Tucker-Lewis index (TLI)
- Comparative fit index (CFI)
Browne, Cudeck, Bollen, & Long, (1993), Muthén & Muthén, (1998 -2012).
- Interrater bias
- Obsrved coparetning latent variable was compromised
- Poor model fit
Chi square = 172.58 (p <.000), RMSEA = .125 (p=.024; 90% CI = [.100 .149]), CFI =.732, TLI = .604
Chi square = 81.90 (p=.0017), RMSEA = .096 (p=.024; 90% CI = [.059 .131]), CFI =.778, TLI = .750
* Higher father income significantly predicted lower maternal relationship satisfaction (b = -.648, SE = .296, p = .029, 95% CI [-1.229 -0.068])
Chi square = 20.16 (p=.213), RMSEA = .059 (p=.388; 90% CI = [.000 .129]), CFI =.980, TLI = .932
A self-fulfilling prophecy:
The couple's expectations indeed
predicted their experiences with Direct
Childcare and Family Tasks Balance.

Significant crossover:
The Family Tasks Balance expectations
and experiences of men and women.

Direct Childcare Model
- Satisfaction with the relationship was stable for both partners

Household Tasks Model
- Satisfaction with the relationship was stable for women, but NOT for men
Father driven model of crossover in the family system

When men were satisfied with their romantic relationship before the baby, and their coparenting role after, both parents were satisfied with their romantic relationship over time.
Limitations and Clinical Implications
Clinical Implications
- developing a short-term couple training, focused on negotiating non-baby tasks prior to the baby - clinically significant!

- Sample size, reliability issues, diversity of sample, self-report, could not replicate McHale et al. 2004

Future research
- attempt to recode and match observation data with self-report data, replicate McHale et al. 2004 findings and examine how the triad as a whole affects new parents.
Better understanding of the family system interactions during the transition to parenthood
- How do predictors of relationship satisfaction for one
parent cross over to affect the other?
- Which family-wise factors increase
fathers’ vulnerability to relationship dissatisfaction?
Full transcript