Identity Style and Marriage for Pregnant Cohabitors as They Begin the Transition to Parenthood

Melissa Curran, Leslie A. Bosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transition to parenthood is a difficult time for almost all individuals, with possibly unique difficulties for pregnant cohabitors given simultaneous challenges of identity, intimacy, and impending parenthood. The authors examined how identity style was associated with aspects of marriage, including attitudes toward marriage and reasons not to marry, for 127 pregnant, unmarried, cohabitors. We were particularly interested in the accommodative identity style characterized by a lack of sense of self whereby individuals avoid personal decisions and instead allow contextual demands to determine their outcomes. After controlling for demographics and depressive symptoms, results demonstrated that higher accommodative identity style scores were associated with more negative attitudes toward marriage and greater self-doubts as reasons for not marrying. We discuss how the difficulty of transitioning to parenthood may be compounded for pregnant cohabitors who lack a sense of self, which may undermine their efforts to establish intimacy with their partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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