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Title:Dyad to triad: a longitudinal analysis of how humor and pregnancy intention affect couples transitioning to parenthood
Author(s):Theisen, Jaclyn Christine
Advisor(s):Ogolsky, Brian G.
Contributor(s):Bost, Kelly
Department / Program:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Discipline:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Pregnancy intention
Relationship satisfaction
Abstract:The transition to parenthood is a stressful transition that can lead to decreases in relationship satisfaction; however, not all individuals experience these decreases. According to the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation (VSA) Model, the vulnerabilities individuals bring and the adaptive behaviors individuals use can diminish or enhance the effects of a stressful experience on an individual’s relationship satisfaction. Thus, guided by the VSA model, our study examined how pregnancy intention and humor use affected relationship satisfaction during the stressful transition to parenthood. The goals of the study were to examine the within-time association of pregnancy intention, humor, and relationship satisfaction, and then to investigate how humor and pregnancy intention were associated with changes in relationship satisfaction over time. Results showed that for men and women there was a positive association within-time for their own use of affiliative humor and their own relationship satisfaction. Further, within-time analyses indicated a positive association between men’s use of aggressive humor and their own relationship satisfaction, and when men reported an unplanned pregnancy, using higher than average levels of aggressive humor was related to higher relationship satisfaction. Over time there were no significant effects for women, but we did find a significant interaction between men’s use of affiliative humor and pregnancy intention with change in men’s relationship satisfaction. When men reported unplanned pregnancies, their own use of affiliative humor buffered declines in their own relationship satisfaction. These results indicate that, for men, the use of humor may have served as a buffer during the stressful transition to parenthood, but that for women it may take a combination of adaptive behaviors to alleviate the impact of parenthood on their own relationship satisfaction.
Issue Date:2017-04-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jaclyn Theisen
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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