14 SES 10 A, Part 1 Symposium: Positive Parenting : Assessment, Programmes and Evaluation
Relationship quality is known to change over time for most couples. Studies generally indicate a significant decline in marital satisfaction following the birth of the first child and the transition to parenthood (Belsky and Pensky, 1988; Shapiro et al., 2000; Schulz et al., 2006; Kluwer, 2010). Twenge et al (2003) estimated that those who made the transition to parenthood more recently experienced a 42% greater decrease in marital satisfaction when compared to earlier generations. The overall average effect size comparing parents with childless couples was not large (d=0.19), but at the extreme it translated as a difference between 38% of mothers of infants reporting high levels of satisfaction, compared with 62% of childless women. An on-going ESRC study of couple relationships confirms this finding in the UK population, with men and women in childless partnerships reporting higher levels of happiness with the relationship than parents of either gender (Gabb et al., 2013). In this web-based convenience sample of over 4000 UK participants, over 80% of whom were women and nearly all (92%) were white, mothers scored lower than others on the four measures of happiness with their relationship (relationship quality, relationship with partner, relationship maintenance and happiness with partner), but higher than other groups on measures of happiness with life. Unmarried parents reported slightly higher levels of happiness with their relationship than married parents. METHOD This paper will present the findings from a quantitative and qualitative study exploring the impact of a short intervention for new parents called Let’s Stick Together (LST) in the UK. LST consists of a single one hour session, often delivered to first time-parents as part of existing post-natal groups. The paper will present the findings of an evaluation of this support, including both a quantitative pre- and post-survey with 78 parents and qualitative in-depth interviews with 21 parents. CONCLUSIONS AND PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS The emphasis of LST is on learning about positive relationships and prevention rather than treatment of existing problems. It will be discussed the methods used for measuring change in relation to parents’ relationship quality, communication, well-being and other outcomes, and present the main findings on what difference it made to the parents who attended such sessions.
Belsky, J. and Pensky, E. (1988). Marital change across the transition to parenthood. Marriage and Family Review, 12 (3-4),133-56. Gabb, J., Klett-Davies, M., Fink, J. and Thomae, M. (2013). Enduring Love? Couple relationships in the 21st century. Interim report of the survey findings. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Kluwer, E. S. (2010). From partnership to parenthood: A review of marital change across the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Theoryand Review, 2, 105-125. Schulz, M. S., Cowan, C. P. and Cowan, P.A. (2006). Promoting healthy beginnings: A randomized controlled trial of a preventive intervention to preserve marital quality during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74 (1), 20-31. Shapiro, A. F., Gottman, J. M. and Carrère, S. (2000). The baby and the marriage: identifying factors that buffer against decline in marital satisfaction after the first baby arrives. Journal of Family Psychology, 14 (1), 59-70.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.