Lucia Carli, Daniela Traficante

Intergenerational and relational determinants of becoming parent: a comparison between couples expecting the first child and childless couples by choice.

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The contextual-ecological perspective of attachment offers a theoretical integrated frame that allows us to study parenthood and the factors that can influence this choice. In this perspective we hypothesize that "parental investment" is the result of the coming of age, in the young adult phase, of the early relationship with the family of origin and of the construction of the romantic relationship. This work investigates the interaction between representations of attachment bond (both as children and young adults to their family of origin and as adults to their partner) and the choice of becoming parents both on a group of couples waiting for their first child and on a group of couples who decided not to become parents. Results show that the two groups differ significantly in their manner of processing the attachment relationships to their family during young adulthood and in their commitment to the romantic relationship. Instead, representations of attachment relationships to the family as children do not appear to be closely correlated to the choice of becoming a parent.

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