Marital and Coparenting Qualities: Associations with Parenting Cognitions
AuthorMerrifield, Kami Ann
AdvisorGamble, Wendy C.
Committee ChairGamble, Wendy C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractParenting self-efficacy is an important construct in understanding parents' choices about their child-rearing. Associations between marital and coparenting relationships have been established in prior research. Most of these studies used global assessments of marital quality, marital satisfaction, or measures of conflict to predict to the quality of the coparenting relationship. The present study is unique in that it utilizes multiple dimensions of marital quality, including satisfaction, maintenance strategies, and conflict, to examine the associations between marriage, coparenting, and parenting self-efficacy. These associations were explored using the Family Systems framework, comparing the explanatory power of the additive and compensatory processes. Of the marital quality indices, maintenance was the strongest, most consistent predictor of parenting cognitions for mothers and fathers, predicting to both parenting self-efficacy and meta-parenting. Mothers' reports of marital satisfaction were negatively associated with their, and their partner's, parenting self-efficacy. Undermining coparenting was predictive of parenting self-efficacy for mothers and fathers, but only predictive of meta-parenting for mothers. There was evidence supporting positive additive effects of marriage and coparenting on parenting self-efficacy. Maintenance for mothers, and marital satisfaction for fathers, combined with supportive coparenting to predict to even greater parenting self-efficacy. There was also support for the compensatory effect of marital quality on parenting self-efficacy for fathers. Fathers reporting higher levels of maintenance in combination with higher levels of undermining coparenting maintained their levels of parenting self-efficacy while fathers reporting lower levels of maintenance also reported less parenting self-efficacy in the face of higher undermining coparenting.
Degree ProgramFamily & Consumer Sciences