Do good partners make good parents? : relationship quality and parenting in married and unmarried families.

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Author (Individual)
Carlson, Marcia.
McLanahan, Sara.
Author (Organization)
Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing.
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We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to explore how relationship quality among married and unmarried parents around the time of their baby's birth and in the subsequent year is associated with parenting of one-year-old children. We examine two measures of relationship quality (supportiveness and frequency of conflict) and two domains of parenting (positive engagement and spanking) for both mothers and fathers. We find a positive association between relationship quality and parenting among both married and unmarried couples, underscoring previous research on spillover in dyadic family relationships. We find that supportiveness is somewhat more strongly linked to parenting than conflict. We observe essentially no differences by parental gender, marital status or child sex in how relationship quality affects parenting. (Author abstract)

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