Date of Paper

4-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

David Roseborough

Abstract

Becoming a first-time parent can be a major transition for a marital dyad as they begin a new journey in life with their child. While there is a lot of research already surrounding marriage and parenthood, there is little regarding parental negotiation. The purpose of this study was to find ways in which married couples who are first-time parents negotiate and make decisions related to values and making plans for their child’s future as examples. The research design for this study was qualitative, exploratory, and consisted of six in-person interviews that utilized open ended questions. Eleven adult participants were interviewed for this study. The findings of this study identified four emerging overall themes that came from the interviews. These themes include: the experience of transitioning into parenthood, dyad protection, beliefs and values based on family origin, and negotiation of decisions. It is important for social workers to understand how the role of first-time parents affects the marital dyad and the child.

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