Timing of the transition to motherhood and union quality: The moderator role of union length

Authors

  • GENEVIÈVE BOUCHARD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Université de Moncton
      Geneviève Bouchard, School of Psychology, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada E1A 3E9, e-mail: genevieve.bouchard@umoncton.ca.
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    • Geneviève Bouchard, Mylène Lachance-Grzela, and Amanda Goguen, School of Psychology, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

  • MYLÈNE LACHANCE-GRZELA,

    1. Université de Moncton
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    • Geneviève Bouchard, Mylène Lachance-Grzela, and Amanda Goguen, School of Psychology, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

  • AMANDA GOGUEN

    1. Université de Moncton
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    • Geneviève Bouchard, Mylène Lachance-Grzela, and Amanda Goguen, School of Psychology, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


  • This research was supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and from Health Canada. We would like to thank Linda Arsenault for her significant contribution to this research project.

Geneviève Bouchard, School of Psychology, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada E1A 3E9, e-mail: genevieve.bouchard@umoncton.ca.

Abstract

Researchers have examined the contribution of women’s age at first pregnancy to the prediction of union quality across the transition to motherhood, but the emerging picture is inconsistent. The authors investigated the moderator role of union length in the relationship between the 2 variables. A sample of 143 Canadian women completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale during pregnancy and at 6 months postpartum. As predicted, after partialing out the influence of other demographic variables, union length moderated the relationship between maternal age and changes in union quality across the transition, p < .001. The results showed that postponing motherhood to a later age has positive effects on women’s union quality only among those who are in long-term relationships.

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