This article was edited by Deborah Carr.
Pregnancy Intentions and Parents' Psychological Well-Being
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 1182–1196, October 2012
How to Cite
Su, J. H. (2012), Pregnancy Intentions and Parents' Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 1182–1196. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01006.x
- Issue published online: 24 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
- family planning;
- National Survey of Families and Households;
- transition to parenthood;
Extant research suggests that parents are more depressed than childless adults, yet the role of pregnancy intentions is largely absent from the discussion. Using 2 waves of data from the National Survey of Families and Households (n = 825 women, n = 889 men), the author found that pregnancy intentions are an important consideration for parents' well-being. The results suggest that unintended births are associated with increased depressive symptoms among fathers and decreased happiness among mothers. This association persisted even after accounting for union status and measures of depressive symptoms and happiness prior to the birth. The author also investigated the social, psychological, and economic mechanisms that explain this relationship. Self-efficacy and financial strain partially explain the link between unintended births and poorer well-being.