Couples' Co-Construction of the Story of Their Child's Birth: Associations With Marital Adaptation
David Oppenheim | University o f Haifa, Israel
Frederick S. Wamboldt | National Jewish Hospital for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Leslie A. Gavin | National Jewish Hospital for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Andrew G. Renouf | Western Psychiatric Institute, Pittsburgh
Robert N. Emde | University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Abstract Recent research showing links between family narratives and emotional adaptation has raised questions regarding the significance of the coherence of marital narratives for couple adaptation, the important distinction between the narratives couples co-construct and the dyadic process during the co-construction, and the roles of individual psychological functioning and marital functioning in co-constructed narratives. In order to address these questions, we investigated the associations between couples' narratives about the birth of their child and their marital satisfaction and individual psychological wellbeing at the time the narrative was constructed as well as 1 and 2 years later. Results show that the emotional coherence of couples' narratives was associated with their marital satisfaction at the time the narrative was constructed as well as 1 and 2 years later, and similar results were found regarding the emotional expressiveness of the narratives. These associations remained significant when the individual psychological distress of marital partners was held constant and suggest that co-constructed marital narratives are important windows into marital relationships. (Psychology)
Published online: 04 August 2015
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