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|Adjustment to parenthood and partners’ satisfaction with the irrelationship after the first child in Australia
|Collegio Carlo Alberto
|This study addresses open questions about the short -term declining trajectories of partners’ satisfaction with their relationship following the birth of the first child. In particular, it focuses on the effect of reconciling family and work on the pa rtners’ relationship. Using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) pan el survey waves from 2001 to 2009, it analyses a representative sample of couples, follow ed for three years from the year of the first pregnancy. I model changes in partners’ relationshi p satisfaction for both women and men with piecewise linear growth models. Looking at the inte raction between the adjustment of the couple along the family and work dimensions, and at the di fficulties caused by parenthood to women’s work trajectories, I find gendered paths towards th e change in relationship satisfaction: while adopting a traditional division of gender roles wor ks in favour of fathers’ maintenance of a satisfactory relationship with the partner, the sam e path reduces the mother’s relationship satisfaction. At the same time, the couple’s abilit y to share experiences, tasks and attitudes seems t o compensate for the great differences in women’s and men’s chances of enjoying parenthood, a loving relationship and the labour market. In a con text that especially generates gender inequality in the transition to parenthood, as the Australian pro -natalist policy system seemed to do before its 2009 reform, these results raise questions for poli cy makers.
|Families -- Babies; Life Events -- Birth/adoption; Families -- Parents and Parenting; Families -- Partners
|Reports and technical papers
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checked on Mar 2, 2024
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