Mother's marital satisfaction associated with the quality of mother-father-child triadic interaction.Scand J Psychol. 2016 Aug; 57(4):305-12.SJ
Low marital satisfaction has been shown to be a risk factor for early parenthood and parent-child relationship problems (Erel & Burman, ; McHale,). The aim of this study was to assess how parental reports of marital satisfaction related to family alliance and coordination in the observed triadic interaction. The study group included 120 families. Marital satisfaction was evaluated during pregnancy, at 4 months, and at 18 months using the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS; Busby, Christensen, Crane & Larsson,) for both parents. Mother-father-child interaction was analyzed in the Lausanne Triadic Play setting and coded using the Family Alliance Assessment Scale (Favez, Lavanchy Scaiola, Tissot, Darwiche & Frascarolo,) when the child reached 18 months of age. The mother's higher marital satisfaction at every measuring point was associated with a cooperative family alliance and/or higher family coordination at 18 months. The father's experience of marital satisfaction was not related to family interaction at any assessment point. Our study suggests that a mother's experience of lower marital satisfaction during pregnancy may be an early sign of later problems in family relationships.