Dyad to triad

A longitudinal analysis of humor and pregnancy intention during the transition to parenthood

Jaclyn C. Theisen, Brian Gabriel Ogolsky, Jeffry A. Simpson, W. Steven Rholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The transition to parenthood is a stressful life event that often leads to decreases in relationship satisfaction over time. Guided by the Stress Buffering Model, we examined how pregnancy intention and humor use are associated with relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood using a multi-wave longitudinal design. First-time parents were initially assessed prenatally and then every 6-month postpartum for 2 years. Six months after birth, each couple was video-recorded engaging in two support discussions where each partner’s use of different humor styles was observed and rated. The results revealed a positive association between affiliative humor use (assessed at 6-month postpartum) and relationship satisfaction (assessed across the entire transition) for men and women. For men only, there was an interaction between pregnancy intention (assessed prenatally) and aggressive humor use (assessed 6-month postpartum). Specifically, when the pregnancy was unplanned, men who displayed higher levels of aggressive humor at 6-month postpartum reported higher overall relationship satisfaction. There also was a significant interaction between men’s (but not women’s) affiliative humor use and pregnancy intention, such that when men reported an unplanned pregnancy, their greater use of affiliative humor buffered declines in their relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest that, for men, greater use of affiliative humor appears to forestall declines in their relationship satisfaction. More broadly, different forms of humor may promote or sustain higher levels of relationship satisfaction in men across the chronically stressful transition to parenthood because they serve key communicative functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Wit and Humor
parenthood
humor
dyad
pregnancy
Pregnancy
Postpartum Period
Unplanned Pregnancy
interaction
parents
video
Parents
Parturition
event

Keywords

  • Dyadic data analysis
  • humor
  • pregnancy intention
  • relationship satisfaction
  • trajectories
  • transition to parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Dyad to triad : A longitudinal analysis of humor and pregnancy intention during the transition to parenthood. / Theisen, Jaclyn C.; Ogolsky, Brian Gabriel; Simpson, Jeffry A.; Rholes, W. Steven.

In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{889671b56fab455faaffbca37c6cb796,
title = "Dyad to triad: A longitudinal analysis of humor and pregnancy intention during the transition to parenthood",
abstract = "The transition to parenthood is a stressful life event that often leads to decreases in relationship satisfaction over time. Guided by the Stress Buffering Model, we examined how pregnancy intention and humor use are associated with relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood using a multi-wave longitudinal design. First-time parents were initially assessed prenatally and then every 6-month postpartum for 2 years. Six months after birth, each couple was video-recorded engaging in two support discussions where each partner’s use of different humor styles was observed and rated. The results revealed a positive association between affiliative humor use (assessed at 6-month postpartum) and relationship satisfaction (assessed across the entire transition) for men and women. For men only, there was an interaction between pregnancy intention (assessed prenatally) and aggressive humor use (assessed 6-month postpartum). Specifically, when the pregnancy was unplanned, men who displayed higher levels of aggressive humor at 6-month postpartum reported higher overall relationship satisfaction. There also was a significant interaction between men’s (but not women’s) affiliative humor use and pregnancy intention, such that when men reported an unplanned pregnancy, their greater use of affiliative humor buffered declines in their relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest that, for men, greater use of affiliative humor appears to forestall declines in their relationship satisfaction. More broadly, different forms of humor may promote or sustain higher levels of relationship satisfaction in men across the chronically stressful transition to parenthood because they serve key communicative functions.",
keywords = "Dyadic data analysis, humor, pregnancy intention, relationship satisfaction, trajectories, transition to parenthood",
author = "Theisen, {Jaclyn C.} and Ogolsky, {Brian Gabriel} and Simpson, {Jeffry A.} and Rholes, {W. Steven}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0265407519831076",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships",
issn = "0265-4075",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dyad to triad

T2 - A longitudinal analysis of humor and pregnancy intention during the transition to parenthood

AU - Theisen, Jaclyn C.

AU - Ogolsky, Brian Gabriel

AU - Simpson, Jeffry A.

AU - Rholes, W. Steven

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - The transition to parenthood is a stressful life event that often leads to decreases in relationship satisfaction over time. Guided by the Stress Buffering Model, we examined how pregnancy intention and humor use are associated with relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood using a multi-wave longitudinal design. First-time parents were initially assessed prenatally and then every 6-month postpartum for 2 years. Six months after birth, each couple was video-recorded engaging in two support discussions where each partner’s use of different humor styles was observed and rated. The results revealed a positive association between affiliative humor use (assessed at 6-month postpartum) and relationship satisfaction (assessed across the entire transition) for men and women. For men only, there was an interaction between pregnancy intention (assessed prenatally) and aggressive humor use (assessed 6-month postpartum). Specifically, when the pregnancy was unplanned, men who displayed higher levels of aggressive humor at 6-month postpartum reported higher overall relationship satisfaction. There also was a significant interaction between men’s (but not women’s) affiliative humor use and pregnancy intention, such that when men reported an unplanned pregnancy, their greater use of affiliative humor buffered declines in their relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest that, for men, greater use of affiliative humor appears to forestall declines in their relationship satisfaction. More broadly, different forms of humor may promote or sustain higher levels of relationship satisfaction in men across the chronically stressful transition to parenthood because they serve key communicative functions.

AB - The transition to parenthood is a stressful life event that often leads to decreases in relationship satisfaction over time. Guided by the Stress Buffering Model, we examined how pregnancy intention and humor use are associated with relationship satisfaction across the transition to parenthood using a multi-wave longitudinal design. First-time parents were initially assessed prenatally and then every 6-month postpartum for 2 years. Six months after birth, each couple was video-recorded engaging in two support discussions where each partner’s use of different humor styles was observed and rated. The results revealed a positive association between affiliative humor use (assessed at 6-month postpartum) and relationship satisfaction (assessed across the entire transition) for men and women. For men only, there was an interaction between pregnancy intention (assessed prenatally) and aggressive humor use (assessed 6-month postpartum). Specifically, when the pregnancy was unplanned, men who displayed higher levels of aggressive humor at 6-month postpartum reported higher overall relationship satisfaction. There also was a significant interaction between men’s (but not women’s) affiliative humor use and pregnancy intention, such that when men reported an unplanned pregnancy, their greater use of affiliative humor buffered declines in their relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest that, for men, greater use of affiliative humor appears to forestall declines in their relationship satisfaction. More broadly, different forms of humor may promote or sustain higher levels of relationship satisfaction in men across the chronically stressful transition to parenthood because they serve key communicative functions.

KW - Dyadic data analysis

KW - humor

KW - pregnancy intention

KW - relationship satisfaction

KW - trajectories

KW - transition to parenthood

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85061997562&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85061997562&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0265407519831076

DO - 10.1177/0265407519831076

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

JF - Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

SN - 0265-4075

ER -