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OnePlusOne Research and Policy Digest – June 2015

By OnePlusOne, 26 June 2015

Journal Articles

Recovery from conflict and revival of intimacy in cohabiting couples
Karen j. Prager*, Forouz Shirvani, Jesse Poucher, Gustavo Cavallin, Michael Truong and Jennifer j. Garcia;jsessionid=9D43190011875A14E92D5021510D19B1.f03t04

Couples who seek a stable and satisfying relationship must recover emotionally and reestablish their intimate connection after their conflicts are over. In a 3-week diary study, 100 cohabiting couples reported on their daily moods, intimacy, relationship satisfaction, and conflicts. Results indicated that on days following a conflict, couple partners have worse mood, less satisfaction, and less self-disclosure than on other days. Attachment security and intimacy partially moderated the ability of relationship partners to recover positive and reduce negative affect on days following conflict. Partners of anxiously attached individuals experienced more pronounced postconflict changes in mood and intimacy than partners of securely attached individuals. More intimacy in postconflict interactions was associated with a faster recovery from conflict

Randomized Control Trial: Online Parent Program and Waiting Period for Unmarried Parents in Title IV-D Court.
Rudd, Brittany N.; Holtzworth-Munroe, Amy; Reyome, Jason G.; Applegate, Amy G.; D’Onofrio, Brian M.

Despite a lack of research on parent education programs for unmarried parents, many judicial officers mandate participation. We recruited an understudied sample likely at high risk for negative outcomes—182 court cases involving unmarried parents on government assistance in which paternity was contested and then established via genetic testing ordered by the court. This 2 × 2 randomized controlled trial evaluated the impact on initial litigation outcomes of two factors: (a) participation in an online parent education program or not and (b) having a waiting period between the establishment of paternity and the court hearing concerning child-related issues or not. Using an intent-to-treat framework, we found that among cases not assigned to the program, there was no difference in the rate of full agreement on child-related issues (e.g., child support, custody, parenting time) when comparing cases assigned to a waiting period and cases not assigned to a waiting period. In contrast, for cases assigned to the program, cases also assigned a waiting period were less likely to reach a full agreement than cases that had their hearing on the same day. In addition, cases in the “program and waiting period” condition were less likely to return to court for their hearing than cases in the “no program and waiting period” condition. In exploratory analyses of the subsample of cases in which both parents were present at the court hearing, the pattern of results remained the same, although the findings were no longer statistically significant. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

Latent Profiles of Perceived Time Adequacy for Paid Work, Parenting, and Partner Roles.
Lee, Soomi; Almeida, David M.; Davis, Kelly D.; King, Rosalind B.; Hammer, Leslie B.; Kelly, Erin L.

This study examined feelings of having enough time (i.e., perceived time adequacy) in a sample of employed parents (N = 880) in information technology and extended-care industries. Adapting a person-centered latent profile approach, we identified 3 profiles of perceived time adequacy for paid work, parenting, and partner roles: family time protected, family time sacrificed, and time balanced. Drawing upon the conservation of resources theory (Hobfòll, 1989), we examined the associations of stressors and resources with the time adequacy profiles. Parents in the family time sacrificed profile were more likely to be younger, women, have younger children, work in the extended-care industry, and have nonstandard work schedules compared to those in the family time protected profile. Results from multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed that, with the time balanced profile as the reference group, having fewer stressors and more resources in the family context (less parent–child conflict and more partner support), work context (longer company tenure, higher schedule control and job satisfaction), and work–family interface (lower work-to-family conflict) was linked to a higher probability of membership in the family time protected profile. By contrast, having more stressors and fewer resources, in the forms of less partner support and higher work-to-family conflict, predicted a higher likelihood of being in the family time sacrificed profile. Our findings suggest that low work-to-family conflict is the most critical predictor of membership in the family time protected profile, whereas lack of partner support is the most important factor to be included in the family time sacrificed profile. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

Life-Course Partnership Status and Biomarkers in Midlife: Evidence From the 1958 British Birth Cohort
George B. Ploubidis, PhD, Richard J. Silverwood, PhD, Bianca DeStavola, PhD, and Emily Grundy, PhD

Objectives. We examined the association between trajectories of partnership status over the life course and objectively measured health indicators in midlife.

Methods. We used data from 4 waves (1981, 1991, 2000, and 2002–2004) of the British National Child Development Study (NCDS), a prospective cohort study that includes all people born in Britain during 1 week in March 1958 (n = 18 558).

Results. After controlling for selection attributable to early-life and early-adulthood characteristics, we found that life-course trajectories of partnership status were associated with hemostatic and inflammatory markers, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and respiratory function in midlife. Never marrying or cohabiting was negatively associated with health in midlife for both genders, but the effect was more pronounced in men. Women who had married in their late 20s or early 30s and remained married had the best health in midlife. Men and women in cohabiting unions had midlife health outcomes similar to those in formal marriages.

Conclusions. Partnership status over the life course has a cumulative effect on a wide range of objectively measured health indicators in midlife. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 11, 2015: e1–e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302644)

Research/ Statistics

Parenting and contact before and after separation
Tina Haux and Lucinda Platt

A paper by authors from LSE and the university of Kent which uses Millennium Cohort data to consider two questions: Question 1. What are the links between fathers’ parenting before separation and contact after separation?; Question 2. Is the parenting competence of mothers affected by separation, and if so, does it recover?

How Teens Benefit from Healthy Relationships with Family and Friends

The relationship skills that boys and girls develop during adolescence can help youth make positive decisions about other aspects of their lives. Knowing how to establish and maintain positive relationships can make a difference as youth make decisions related to romantic relationships, friendships, school, and work.

2015 Couples Retirement Study Fact Sheet: Disconnects on Retirement Expectations, Social Security and Income

A survey of 1051 couple carried out by Fidelity Investments in America which analyses retirement expectations and preparedness.

From Saying “Yes” to Saying “I Do”: An Exclusive Series on Being Engaged and Getting Married

From the moment two people decide to get married through their wedding day, partners face a host of unique experiences during their engagement period, including more in-depth interactions with in-laws, making important joint financial decisions, and preparing for a publically declared, lifelong commitment.  Yet, despite the significance of the events leading up to the big day, only a few empirical studies have focused on the unique experiences that comprise the engagement period.1,2,3 And though private companies like The Knot have surveyed their subscribers about their engagements and weddings,4 these studies represent a select group of respondents. In an effort to more broadly address the question of “What’s it like to be engaged in the 21st century?”,, in collaboration with researchers from the Loving Lab at The University of Texas at Austin recently recruited nearly 400 newly-engaged or newly-wed individuals from around the United States. The research team asked individuals a range of questions, some of which are reviewed below (with a sneak peak at a few results as well!). Over the coming days, we will be posting the latest findings on being engaged in the 21st century.

Childcare Costs Survey 2015

Family and Childcare Trust

Although not specifically related to relationships, this is worth us being aware of.

Policy/ Practice

UK lawyers to help give children a voice during family separation


Family Law

Family lawyers and mediators across the country are joining forces with UK charity Kids in the Middle (KITM) to offer valuable support to children experiencing a family break-up.

Featuring a new and expanded website and an extensive national publicity drive, the initiative, in partnership with UK family lawyers and mediators, is designed to create a much expanded and more effective response to the needs and concerns of children caught up in family breakdown….


The Empirical Basis for Gottman Method Couples Therapy


A blog by John Gottman outlining the history of his research.



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