Panel Discussions

When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable

A Conversation with W. Bradford Wilcox, Director, National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia; Elizabeth Marquardt, Affiliate Scholar, IAV; and David and Amber Lapp, Researchers, IAV, on When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable. Hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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More by: David Blankenhorn

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Married parents are more likely than their childless peers to feel their lives have a sense of meaning and purpose. And parents who are married generally experience more happiness and less depression than parents who are unmarried. At the same time, studies show that parenthood is typically associated with lower levels of marital happiness. But there is a substantial minority of husbands and wives who do not experience parenthood as an obstacle to marital happiness. These women and men navigate the shoals of parenthood without succumbing to comparatively low levels of marital happiness or high levels of marital instability. What is their secret?

This conversation was recorded in New York City on December 8, 2011.

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