Gender ideology, depression, and marital quality in working-class, dual -earner couples across the transition to parenthood

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

Drawing upon gender- and life-course perspectives, this study addresses a number of conceptual gaps in our understanding of linkages between gender-role ideology, depression, and marital quality across the transition to parenthood. It employs a unique sample of 120 working-class, full-time dual-earner heterosexual couples to (a) explore linkages between marital partners' ideology and their depression, love, and conflict while accounting for the inherent dependence in partners' data; (b) examine effects of spousal concordance/discordance in ideology; and (c) compare the performance of a global gender ideology measure (GRI) versus a measure specific to economic provision roles within a family (PR). Couples were interviewed antenatally (third trimester of pregnancy) and postpartum (six months and one year after their baby's birth). In general, new mothers' greater egalitarianism was found to be associated with women's lower depression and lower marital conflict, whereas new fathers' greater egalitarianism was associated with more marital love. The influence of egalitarianism on men's reported conflict level depended upon the proportion of family income he made. When differences between relationship partners' global gender ideology or provider role views were used to predict outcomes, a different pattern of findings emerged. Women who held more egalitarian provider role views than their male partner reported more love and less relationship conflict than women who held more traditional provider role views than their partner. Men who were more egalitarian than their partner or who held more egalitarian provider role views than her reported lower depression than men who were more traditional than their partner. Findings argue for the importance of considering gender ideology on the dyadic level in addition to the individual level. The two different gender ideology measures (GRI and PR) were generally found to have similar effect sizes, with respective strengths in different contexts. The discussion highlights the need for future research to consider domestic work roles in concert with paid labor roles when conducting family research, as these two concepts are inextricably linked.

Indexing (details)

Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
Social psychology
0622: Psychotherapy
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
0451: Social psychology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Depression; Dual-earner couples; Gender ideology; Marital quality; Transition to parenthood; Working class
Gender ideology, depression, and marital quality in working-class, dual -earner couples across the transition to parenthood
Bourne, Heather
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 67/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542656446, 0542656442
Perry-Jenkins, Maureen
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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