Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Tea Trillingsgaard

Relationship interventions during the transition to parenthood: Issues of timing and efficacy

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Tea Trillingsgaard
  • Katherine J. Williams-Baucom, University of California Los Angeles, United States
  • Richard E. Heyman, New York University, United States
  • Ask Elklit, Syddansk Universitet, Denmark
This study evaluated the efficacy of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) adapted for Danish couples expecting their first child. Couples were recruited consecutively through a public maternity ward (N = 290). On the basis of due dates, they were allocated to (a) PREP, (b) an information-based control group (INFO), or (c) naturally occurring care. Approximately half of the couples accepted program invitations. Across 24 months, all 3 groups declined in relationship satisfaction, and no significant differences were found between PREP and INFO or between PREP and the natural condition. Negativity decreased from pre- to posttest for women in the PREP condition, but this was not significantly different from the women in the INFO condition. Findings revealed that communication skills training was not effective during pregnancy, and no intervention was successful at preventing the decline in satisfaction during the transition to parenthood. This study suggests that pregnancy may not be an optimal time for relational interventions like PREP.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Relations
Pages (from-to)770-783
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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