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Infant Behav Dev. 2011 Dec;34(4):504-14. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Mother and father adjustment during early parenthood: the roles of infant temperament and coparenting relationship quality.

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Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, United States.


We explored how parent gender, infant temperament, and coparenting dynamics worked together to shape mothers' and fathers' depressive symptoms, stress, and parental efficacy during early parenthood. We were interested in the coparenting relationship as a context that shapes how parents respond to their infant's temperamental qualities. Participants were 139 couples who had recently given birth to their first child. Parent reports of temperament were collected when the infant was 4-8 months old and reports of coparenting and parent adjustment were collected at 13 months. Two-level random intercept models revealed interactions between temperament and coparenting, highlighting the family system as a context for how men and women adapt to their parenting role. There was little evidence for mother-father differences in these associations.

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