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Keywords:

  • distributive justice;
  • division of labor;
  • procedural justice;
  • social comparison;
  • transition to parenthood

In a three-wave longitudinal survey among 293 couples, we studied the determinants of husbands' and wives' fairness judgments regarding the division of labor across the transition to parenthood. We tested predictions derived from the distributive justice framework that perceptions of fairness regarding the division of labor are affected by (a) wants and values, (b) social comparisons, and (c) procedural justice. The model was supported for wives at all waves. For husbands, wants and values and social comparisons were the main predictors of fairness perceptions. In general, the model was consistently supported across the transition to parenthood. Support was also found for the long-term influence of the variables in the model on husbands' and wives' perceptions of fairness across the transition to parenthood.