Journal of Marriage and Family
We used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine how couple relationship quality and parental engagement are linked over children's early years--when they are infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Our sample included 1,630 couples who were coresident over Years 1-3 and 1,376 couples who were coresident over Years 3-5 (1,196 over both periods). Overall, we found that better relationship quality predicted greater parental engagement for both mothers and fathers--especially in the infant to toddler years; in contrast, we found little evidence that parental engagement predicted future relationship quality. In general, married and cohabiting couples were similar in how relationship quality and parenting were linked.(Author abstract)
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