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.
- Family functioning
- Low-income unmarried couples
- Pregnancy intentions
- Three-step latent class analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas