Parenting: Science and Practice
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Objective. The objectives of this study were to identify associations and pathways through which first-time resident fathers' pregnancy intentions (reported retrospectively) influence their later coparenting and to examine whether these associations varied based on the child's gender. Design. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) 9- and 24-month surveys, we examined a sample of first-time resident biological fathers (N = 1,278). Results. Having a mistimed or unwanted pregnancy is associated with higher levels of paternal depression and with lower mother-father relationship happiness, which in turn are associated with lower coparental supportiveness and higher coparental conflict. There was also a negative association between father's depression and mother-father relationship happiness. No significant differences in associations by gender of child were found. Conclusions. Pregnancy intentions are associated with later coparenting behavior for first-time fathers of infants. Paternal depression and the mother-father relationship are important factors for understanding fathers' later coparenting. (Author abstract)
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