Gilad Hirschberger, New School of Psychology, Inter-disciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya; Sanjay Srivastava, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon; Penny Marsh, Carolyn Pape Cowan, and Philip A. Cowan, Department of Psychology and Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley.
Attachment, marital satisfaction, and divorce during the first fifteen years of parenthood
Article first published online: 30 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 IARR
Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 401–420, September 2009
How to Cite
HIRSCHBERGER, G., SRIVASTAVA, S., MARSH, P., COWAN, C. P. and COWAN, P. A. (2009), Attachment, marital satisfaction, and divorce during the first fifteen years of parenthood. Personal Relationships, 16: 401–420. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2009.01230.x
The studies described here were funded by RO1-NIMH RO1-31109 to the last two authors.
- Issue published online: 30 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 30 SEP 2009
This study examines 2 overlapping longitudinal samples of U.S. couples with children, covering a period of 15 years after the first child's birth. The first sample extended from the pregnancy with a first child until that child was 5.5 years old and the second from ages 4.5 to 14.5. Growth curve analyses revealed that marital satisfaction declined over 15 years for both husbands and wives. Attachment security measured in the second sample was associated with greater marital satisfaction but did not buffer against declines in marital satisfaction over time. Husbands' lower initial level of marital satisfaction measured around the first child's transition to school was the only significant predictor of marital dissolution. The discussion emphasizes theoretical and practical implications of these findings.