The Well Being of Cohabiting and Married Couples During Pregnancy: Does Pregnancy Planning Matter?
This paper researches the role of pregnancy planning and the connection between marital status and the future of parents. The researchers studied 154 French-Canadian couples expecting their first child and measured the dimensions of anxiety, depression, satisfaction with life, and dyadic adjustment. It is shown that women who cohabit are less likely to plan their pregnancies than married women. Results show that when partners plan pregnancy, more benefits are offered in the marriage.
Key Words: cohabitation, marriage, pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy
North American families and Canadian families have shown a significant rise in non-marital cohabitation in recent decades. While childbearing remains common in marriage, the proportion of children born outside of marriage is at an all-time high. The idea that marriage is correlated with greater well-being is used to determine if the same is true for couples who planned pregnancy. Due to the fact that marriage is synonymous with a predictable life, the researchers hypothesize that compared to unplanned pregnancy, married couples will have less difficulty adjusting to planned pregnancy and exhibit higher levels of well-being. They also hypothesize that cohabiting couples will have less trouble adjusting and adjust easier to unplanned pregnancy.
The procedure involved observing some couples in laboratory settings and others by mailed questionnaires. The participants were asked their age, marital status, length of relationship, level of education, and personal annual income. The subjective measures of anxiety and depression were used to measure each partner’s anxiety and depression symptoms. Researchers used a Dyadic Adjustment Scale questionnaire to evaluate union quality between married and cohabiting couples. Results showed that relationships involving planned...