Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
This longitudinal study examined how relative contributions to the division of childcare are related to individual and relational outcomes across the first 2 years of the transition to parenthood. Data were collected from a large sample of first-time parents 6 weeks before the birth of their child and then at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postpartum. The results revealed that certain individual differences-especially gender and attachment avoidance-shape individual reactions to childcare, above and beyond the proportion of childcare tasks that partners report completing. Women and less avoidantly attached new parents handle the introduction of childcare tasks better than most men, especially those who are more avoidantly attached. In addition, certain reactions to childcare, such as childcare self-efficacy and perceptions of work-family conflict, moderate the relation between contributions to childcare and relationship satisfaction over the course of the transition. We also discuss the need for more research on men's adjustment during this particularly stressful transition. (Author abstract)
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