The transition to parenthood: Impact on couples' romantic relationships

Brian Doss, Galena K. Rhoades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The birth of the first baby - often referred to as the transition to parenthood (TTP) - is both a time of great joy and great stress for new parents. Although the literature is mixed, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the TTP has a negative effect on relationship functioning for most couples. However, as children age, the relationship functioning of parents and non-parents converge. Notably, there are important moderators of this average trajectory; couples with higher levels of pre-birth relationship problems, insecurely attached parents, temperamentally difficult infants, and TTP following biological birth rather than adoption are associated with larger post-birth declines. Fortunately, several effective couple-focused interventions are available to help buffer the negative effects of the TTP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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