How representations of the parental marriage predict marital emotional attunement during the transition to parenthood

Melissa Curran, Nancy Hazen, Deborah Jacobvitz, Takayuki Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Emotional attunement (i.e., couples' dyadic emotional connectedness and responsiveness) was examined in 86 couples across the transition to parenthood. After controlling for prenatal emotional attunement and verbal ability, the authors found that prenatal assessments of husbands' and wives' representations of their parents' marriage (i.e., content and insightfulness) predicted emotional attunement between partners 24 months postpartum. There was a trend for husbands and a statistically significant relationship for wives who insightfully recalled disharmonious content to show greater residualized postnatal emotional attunement compared with other husbands and wives, suggesting that anticipating marital problems following the transition to parenthood may increase attention to maintaining the marriage. In contrast, wives who recalled disharmonious content with low insight showed the lowest residualized postnatal scores for emotional attunement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006



  • Communication
  • Intergenerational representations
  • Marital quality
  • Marriage
  • Transition to parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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