Transition to parenting within context

Jacqueline D. Shannon, Lisa Baumwell, Catherine S. Tamis-Lemonda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


According to a life course perspective, individuals’ lives are constantly changing, and these changes follow trajectories that have developmental implications for the individual (Elder, 1998). One frequently studied transition experienced by most adult couples is the transition to parenthood, which occurs at the birth of a first child. Researchers have termed this the “family stage” in the developmental life cycle (Elder, 1998). When parents commit to the “family stage,” they experience high levels of excitement as well as the physical and psychological stresses associated with pregnancy, delivery, and raising a child (Belsky, Ward, & Rovine 1986). Theoretical work on the transition to parenthood suggests that parents’ adjustment to this phase influences future parent-child and coparental relationships (Florsheim, Moore, & Edgington, 2003). The demands of parenthood can lead to individual growth, especially when new parents are supported, or the challenges can be overwhelming, having deleterious effects on parent-child relationships and, ultimately, children’s development and family relationships (Belsky, 1993).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Family Theories
Subtitle of host publicationA Content-Based Approach
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781135118754
ISBN (Print)9780415879453
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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