A comparison of the impact of planned vs. unplanned first births on the marital dyad

Rich, Melissa R.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a significant difference in the degree of marital satisfaction experienced by couples who plan the birth of their first child compared with couples who do not. This study administered the Marital Satisfaction Inventory to two groups of couples at two intervals: once prior to the birth of their child, and once again at approximately three months after the birth had occurred.

Four local area hospitals were used to enlist subjects into the study. Two groups of couples were formed; 49 couples who planned the birth of their first child and 40 couples who did not. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory was the instrument used to assess the couple's level of marital satisfaction. This instrument was administered to each couple twice; once before the birth of their baby and once again 3 to 6 months after the baby's arrival. Means were obtained for husbands, wives, and couples in each group. The data were then analyzed by covariance.

Demographic information was collected on both groups of couples in the areas of age, race, level of education, religious preference, length of marriage and income level. This data employed descriptive statistics for analysis.

The data obtained showed that all three hypotheses were supported. In other words, there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of marital satisfaction experienced between couples who plan and couples who do not plan the birth of their first child.

Health and environmental sciences, Social sciences, Psychology, Family planning