skip to main content

Title: Cultural adaptation congruence in immigrant spouses is associated with marital quality.
Objective and background Previous research suggests that cultural adaptation is associated with Mexican-origin couples' marital outcomes, including marital distress and rates of dissolution. However, research on the marital implications of different types of spousal differences in cultural adaptation often omits important dyadic dynamics (i.e., incongruence between couples and with their partners); this, coupled with existing methodological issues, might contribute to the pattern of mixed findings in the literature. Method Using data from 273 Mexican-origin couples, we conducted response surface analyses to examine how spousal congruence in four adaptation domains (acculturation, enculturation, English proficiency, Spanish proficiency) is associated with wives' and husbands' marital warmth, hostility and satisfaction. Results Higher, versus lower, levels of couple matches (except for enculturation) were associated with better marital quality. Mismatches in American (acculturation, English) and Mexican (enculturation, Spanish) orientations were also associated with higher, and lower, marital quality, respectively. Conclusion and implication Our findings highlight the importance of examining couple matching, which has historically been understudied. We also suggest that inconsistencies in prior work can be explained by discrepant associations between mismatches in American versus Mexican orientation and relationship outcomes.
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of marriage and family
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: Language brokering (LB) is an informal translation experience where bilinguals serve as linguistic and cultural intermediaries for family members. LB may have long-term socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes, yet little is known about its effects on executive functions (EFs). This study examines how first language (L1) proficiency and negative emotions tied to language brokering experiences affect EF performance on a Simon task (ST). Design/methodology/approach: Fifty-three Mexican American Spanish–English bilinguals with LB experience performed a ST, and reported their feelings towards LB for their mother. Data and analysis: Mean reaction times (RTs) and accuracy rates for correct ST trials were analyzed using linear mixed effects modeling, with trial type, proficiency and negative emotions tied to LB experience as factors and their interactions as additional predictors. Findings/conclusions: The L1 proficiency and negative emotions tied to brokering experiences have divergent, but combined effects on EF. Contrary to our hypotheses, low L1 proficiency predicted better performance and the smallest Simon effect was found for brokers with low L1 proficiency and low negative emotional brokering experiences. However, high L1 proficiency predicted better performance (smallest RTs) regardless of negative emotions tied to brokering experiences. Originality: This study takes a different perspective on themore »examination of individual differences among bilinguals, in which we examine how negative emotions tied to brokering experiences coupled with L1 proficiency relates to EF performance. Significance/implications: Our results provide support for the need to understand how individual differences in bilingual language experiences, such as L1 proficiency and negative emotions tied to LB, interact with performance on the ST.« less
  2. Abstract STUDY QUESTION To what extent does the use of mobile computing apps to track the menstrual cycle and the fertile window influence fecundability among women trying to conceive? SUMMARY ANSWER After adjusting for potential confounders, use of any of several different apps was associated with increased fecundability ranging from 12% to 20% per cycle of attempt. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Many women are using mobile computing apps to track their menstrual cycle and the fertile window, including while trying to conceive. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION The Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO) is a North American prospective internet-based cohort of women who are aged 21–45 years, trying to conceive and not using contraception or fertility treatment at baseline. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS We restricted the analysis to 8363 women trying to conceive for no more than 6 months at baseline; the women were recruited from June 2013 through May 2019. Women completed questionnaires at baseline and every 2 months for up to 1 year. The main outcome was fecundability, i.e. the per-cycle probability of conception, which we assessed using self-reported data on time to pregnancy (confirmed by positive home pregnancy test) in menstrual cycles. On the baseline and follow-up questionnaires, women reportedmore »whether they used mobile computing apps to track their menstrual cycles (‘cycle apps’) and, if so, which one(s). We estimated fecundability ratios (FRs) for the use of cycle apps, adjusted for female age, race/ethnicity, prior pregnancy, BMI, income, current smoking, education, partner education, caffeine intake, use of hormonal contraceptives as the last method of contraception, hours of sleep per night, cycle regularity, use of prenatal supplements, marital status, intercourse frequency and history of subfertility. We also examined the impact of concurrent use of fertility indicators: basal body temperature, cervical fluid, cervix position and/or urine LH. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE Among 8363 women, 6077 (72.7%) were using one or more cycle apps at baseline. A total of 122 separate apps were reported by women. We designated five of these apps before analysis as more likely to be effective (Clue, Fertility Friend, Glow, Kindara, Ovia; hereafter referred to as ‘selected apps’). The use of any app at baseline was associated with 20% increased fecundability, with little difference between selected apps versus other apps (selected apps FR (95% CI): 1.20 (1.13, 1.28); all other apps 1.21 (1.13, 1.30)). In time-varying analyses, cycle app use was associated with 12–15% increased fecundability (selected apps FR (95% CI): 1.12 (1.04, 1.21); all other apps 1.15 (1.07, 1.24)). When apps were used at baseline with one or more fertility indicators, there was higher fecundability than without fertility indicators (selected apps with indicators FR (95% CI): 1.23 (1.14, 1.34) versus without indicators 1.17 (1.05, 1.30); other apps with indicators 1.30 (1.19, 1.43) versus without indicators 1.16 (1.06, 1.27)). In time-varying analyses, results were similar when stratified by time trying at study entry (<3 vs. 3–6 cycles) or cycle regularity. For use of the selected apps, we observed higher fecundability among women with a history of subfertility: FR 1.33 (1.05–1.67). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Neither regularity nor intensity of app use was ascertained. The prospective time-varying assessment of app use was based on questionnaires completed every 2 months, which would not capture more frequent changes. Intercourse frequency was also reported retrospectively and we do not have data on timing of intercourse relative to the fertile window. Although we controlled for a wide range of covariates, we cannot exclude the possibility of residual confounding (e.g. choosing to use an app in this observational study may be a marker for unmeasured health habits promoting fecundability). Half of the women in the study received a free premium subscription for one of the apps (Fertility Friend), which may have increased the overall prevalence of app use in the time-varying analyses, but would not affect app use at baseline. Most women in the study were college educated, which may limit application of results to other populations. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS Use of a cycle app, especially in combination with observation of one or more fertility indicators (basal body temperature, cervical fluid, cervix position and/or urine LH), may increase fecundability (per-cycle pregnancy probability) by about 12–20% for couples trying to conceive. We did not find consistent evidence of improved fecundability resulting from use of one specific app over another. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) This research was supported by grants, R21HD072326 and R01HD086742, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USA. In the last 3 years, Dr L.A.W. has served as a fibroid consultant for Dr L.A.W. has also received in-kind donations from Sandstone Diagnostics, Swiss Precision Diagnostics, and for primary data collection and participant incentives in the PRESTO cohort. Dr J.B.S. reports personal fees from Swiss Precision Diagnostics, outside the submitted work. The remaining authors have nothing to declare. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER N/A.« less
  3. This study examined trajectories of new parents’ perceptions of conflictual coparenting and predictors thereof. Partners in 182 dual-earner different-gender U.S. couples reported their prenatal marital conflict and individual characteristics (conflictual coparenting in the family of origin, parenting self-efficacy expectations, and parenting role beliefs) during the third trimester of pregnancy, their infant’s characteristics (negative affectivity and gender) at 3 months postpartum, and their perceptions of undermining coparenting and exposure to conflict at 3, 6, and 9 months postpartum. Results of latent growth curve models indicated that new parents’ perceptions of undermining, but not exposure to conflict, increased similarly from 3 to 9 months. Fathers perceived higher initial undermining than mothers, but there were no gender differences in exposure to conflict. For mothers, greater prenatal marital conflict and greater infant negative affectivity were associated with elevated levels of perceived undermining and exposure to conflict. For fathers, more egalitarian role beliefs were associated with lower undermining and less exposure to conflict, whereas greater prenatal marital conflict, higher conflictual coparenting in the family of origin, and greater infant negative affectivity were associated with greater exposure to conflict. Fathers also perceived greater undermining and exposure to conflict when mothers reported higher prenatal marital conflict, whereas mothers’ greater conflictualmore »coparenting in the family of origin was related to fathers’ lower exposure to conflict. These findings provide valuable information to strengthen programs focused on improving coparenting.

    « less
  4. The wear and tear of adapting to chronic stressors such as racism and discrimination can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health. Here, we investigated the wider implications of everyday racism for relationship quality in an adult sample of 98 heterosexual African American couples. Participants reported on their experiences of racial discrimination and positive and negative affect for 21 consecutive evenings. Using dyadic analyses, we found that independently of age, gender, marital status, income, racial-discrimination frequency, neuroticism, and mean levels of affect, participants’ relationship quality was inversely associated with their partner’s negative affective reactivity to racial discrimination. Associations did not vary by gender, suggesting that the effects of affective reactivity were similar for men and women. These findings highlight the importance of a dyadic approach and call for further research examining the role of everyday racism as a key source of stress in the lives of African American couples.

  5. We pooled data from 10 longitudinal studies of 1,104 married couples to test the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation (VSA) model of change in relationship satisfaction. Studies contained both spouses’ self-reports of neuroticism, attachment anxiety, and attachment avoidance; observational measures of engagement and opposition during problem-solving discussions at baseline; and repeated reports of both spouses’ stress and marital satisfaction over several years. Consistent with the VSA model, all three individual and partner qualities predicted changes in marital satisfaction that were mediated by observations of behavior and moderated by both partners’ experiences with stress. In contrast to the VSA model, however, rather than accentuating the association between individual differences and behavior, both partners’ stress moderated the strength, and even direction, of the association between behavior and changes in marital satisfaction over time. Taken together, these findings indicate that 1) qualities of both couple members shape their behavioral exchanges, 2) these behaviors explain how individuals and their partners’ enduring qualities predict relationship satisfaction, and 3) stress experienced by both couple members strongly determines how enduring qualities and behavior predict changes in relationship satisfaction over time. The complex interplay among both partners’ enduring qualities, stress, and behavior helps explain why studies may fail to document direct mainmore »effects of own and partner enduring qualities and behavior on changes in relationship satisfaction over time.

    « less