Pregnancy Intentions and Family Functioning Among Low-Income, Unmarried Couples: Person-Centered Analyses

Xiaomin Li, Melissa Curran, Katherine Paschall, Melissa Barnett, Olena Kopystynska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Guided by family systems theory and using 2-wave data from 4,843 low-income, unmarried couples in the Building Strong Families study, we examined paths from paternal and maternal pregnancy intentions to family functioning in personal, relationship, and coparenting domains. Using 3-step Latent Class Analysis, we first identified 3 subgroups of couples based on both parents' pregnancy intentions: Both Wanted/Both On-time (33.8%), Both Wanted/Both Mistimed (56.1%), and Women Wanted/Both Mistimed (10.1%). We then examined how family functioning varied across these 3 classes. We found that fathers and mothers in the Women Wanted/Both Mistimed class experienced the lowest levels of family functioning. Mothers in the Both Wanted/Both On-time class reported higher family functioning than mothers in the Both Wanted/Both Mistimed class, whereas few differences were identified between fathers in the Both Wanted/Both On-time class and the Both Wanted/Both Mistimed class. We discussed implications for families transitioning to parenthood of this nuanced understanding of associations between pregnancy intentions and family functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Family functioning
  • Low-income unmarried couples
  • Pregnancy intentions
  • Three-step latent class analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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