Publication Date

2013-04-26

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-04-26

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2012-11-27

First Committee Member

Brian D. Doss

Second Committee Member

Kristin Lindahl

Third Committee Member

Blaine Fowers

Abstract

This study endeavors to examine whether discrete trajectories of self-report coparenting exist over the transition to parenthood; if findings support discrete trajectories, pre-birth predictors of class membership will be investigated, as well as whether class membership predicts outcomes at 2 years postpartum. As part of a larger study, ninety couples pregnant with their first child completed self-report measures of coparenting at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months postpartum. Models utilizing Growth Mixture Modeling (GMM) and Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA) were explored. Results indicated significant evidence for the existence of discrete trajectories; a three-class LCGA that divided the sample into High Coparenting, Medium Coparenting and Low Coparenting classes was found to be the superior solution, both in terms of favorable fit statistics and stability. Slopes for all three classes did not significantly differ from 0, indicating no appreciable growth over time. Additionally, six pre-birth variables indicated differential significant predictors for High vs. Low Coparenting class membership. Lastly, class membership significantly predicted a broader range of outcomes, including several aspects of couple and child functioning, than an individual’s average score on a continuous measure of coparenting. Implications for intervention and future directions are discussed in-depth.

Keywords

couples; coparenting; transition to parenthood; latent class growth analysis

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