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ABSTRACT

: To test the assumption that father involvement in pregnancy and childbirth results in more positive birth and fathering experiences, 40 primiparous couples recruited from childbirth education classes and obstetricians were studied. About two weeks before their due dates each mother was asked to rate her marital closeness and her husband's interest in children. These couples were observed for one hour in mid-labor. Then mothers and fathers were interviewed about one week after the birth.

Fathers who were more involved in terms of their wives’ reports of prenatal marital closeness gave generally more positive reports of the delivery and the new baby. Fathers who were involved in terms of their wives’ estimates of their interest in children were rated by observers as interacting with their wives less during labor. (BIRTH 10:1, Spring 1983)