Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kristina Coop Gordon

Committee Members

Robert Wahler, Deborah Welsh, Cheryl Buehler


This study investigated associations among parenting alliance, marital satisfaction, and depressive symptoms over time. Participants were 84 married couples recruited from the community. They completed self-report measures of parenting alliance, marital satisfaction, and depressive symptoms at two points in time over a span of 16 months. Regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses separately for husbands and wives. Results suggested that initial marital quality alone can be an important predictor of improvements of decrements in husbands’ parenting alliance over time. Wives’ perceptions of the parenting alliance over time appeared to be primarily influenced by the present context of the marital relationship rather than by their initial perceptions of the marital relationship. The models predicting husbands’ later reports of marital satisfaction were largely similar to the models predicting husbands’ parenting alliance. For wives, initial perceptions of the parenting alliance impacted her later feelings of marital satisfaction, despite fluctuations in alliance over time. Limitations are outlined, and implications for future research, theory, and clinical practice are discussed.

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