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Keywords:

  • adaptive processes;
  • marital quality;
  • marital satisfaction;
  • resources;
  • transition to parenthood;
  • vulnerabilities

The transition to parenthood is generally seen as one of the most challenging events in the early stages of marriage. But is it really that detrimental for marriage and do all couples go through the same changes? This article provides a state-of-the-art review of research on marital change across the transition to parenthood. I first address to what extent the transition to parenthood affects the partner relationship. I then consider factors that explain why some couples fare better or worse than others across the transition to parenthood. Two factors that play a central role are (1) adaptive processes and (2) personal and situational characteristics. Finally, this article builds an evidence-based case for an integrative model of the transition to parenthood.