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Title: Transition to “fathering”: Dyadic adjustment and father attachment before and after birth
Authors: Pires, Mónica
Fernandes, Cristiana
Nunes, Odete
Keywords: Pregnancy
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Fernandes, C., Pires, M. & Nunes, O. (2017). Transition to “fathering”: Dyadic adjustment and father attachment before and after birth. 18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology Abstract Book (p. 240). Utrecht, The Netherlands | 29 August – 1 September.
Abstract: Pregnancy, although physically conditioned to women, does not exclude paternal involvement. Studies suggest that attachment begins during pregnancy, increases after birth and it’s associated to a decrease in the quality of the couples’ relationship. Childbirth it’s considered a milestone in couples’ life, and a transition to parenthood not often addressed in the father’s perspective. The present study to verify the relation between dyadic adjustment and prenatal attachment (study 1) and the effect of childbirth in the dyadic adjustment and the postnatal attachment (study2). In the 3rd trimester of partner’s pregnancy, 130 men, completed Antenatal Emotional Attachment Scale and Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). A repeated measures design (+ Postnatal Attachment Scale) was developed with a sub-sample of 22 fathers from initial study, 2 months after the child was born. Results found in the 1st study are in line with previous findings: Younger and first time fathers tend to be more attached to the unborn baby and to present lower scores of couples’ dyadic cohesion. In the 2nd study paternal prenatal attachment and couples’ cohesion are strong predictors of paternal postnatal attachment. Even though fathers’ attachment decreases after the baby is born, contrasting to previous studies, dyadic adjustment increases. Cohesion, consensus and marital satisfaction appear as relevant to fathers´ evaluation of relationship quality. So, for recent fathers the transition to parenthood may act as a relevant factor to bring couples together, in the important task of nurture and caring for the newborn. We conclude that the dyadic adjustment exerts an influence on paternal attachment. Results stress the need for further research on the fathers’ role, its evolution, and the relevant impact of couples’ relationship adjustment for fathers’ attachment, involvement and overall family functioning.
Peer Reviewed: no
Appears in Collections:CIP - Comunicações em conferências

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