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Father-Child Relationship Linked to Marital Quality

Last Updated: June 14, 2013.

Father-child relationship quality has a strong effect on both spouses' marital quality, according to a study published online March 8 in the Journal of Family Issues.

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Father-child relationship quality has a strong effect on both spouses' marital quality, according to a study published online March 8 in the Journal of Family Issues.

Adam M. Galovan, from the University of Missouri in Colombia, and colleagues investigated the impact of the division of family work (including fathers' participation in child rearing) on father-child relationships, satisfaction with the division of family work, and marital quality using family systems theory and an actor-parent interdependence model.

The researchers found that wives' perception of the father-child relationship had the strongest effect on the marital quality of both spouses. Following this, there was a positive correlation between wives' perceptions of father participation in child rearing with reports of marital quality for both spouses. Being more satisfied with the division of family labor correlated with both spouses reporting higher marital quality. Both spouses reported higher satisfaction with the division of labor when wives reported that their husbands had greater responsibility for family tasks. Wives reported being more satisfied with the division of labor when they worked together with their spouses rather than alone.

"Our results suggest that increased marital quality may result from nurturing parent-child relationships and satisfaction with how the needs of the family are met," the authors write. "Shared perceptions of the value of men's fathering contributions to the family appear to add increased meaning in marriage and permeate other aspects of family life (including the division of family work), as spouses work together to build and understand the life they have created together."

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