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Parenthood and Marital Satisfaction: A Meta-Analytic Review
Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell and Craig A. Foster
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 65, No. 3 (Aug., 2003), pp. 574-583
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3600024
Page Count: 10
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This meta-analysis finds that parents report lower marital satisfaction compared with nonparents (d = -.19, r = -.10). There is also a significant negative correlation between marital satisfaction and number of children (d = -.13, r = -.06). The difference in marital satisfaction is most pronounced among mothers of infants (38% of mothers of infants have high marital satisfaction, compared with 62% of childless women). For men, the effect remains similar across ages of children. The effect of parenthood on marital satisfaction is more negative among high socioeconomic groups, younger birth cohorts, and in more recent years. The data suggest that marital satisfaction decreases after the birth of a child due to role conflicts and restriction of freedom.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 2003 National Council on Family Relations