Volume 1 – 5-Month-Old Infants

Number 11 – Conjugal Life of the Parents

The arrival of a newborn is a key moment in a person's life and a critical passage in the life of a couple. This eleventh analytical paper in the ELDEQ 1998-2002 series explores various facets of the conjugal life of the parents of Québec infants. From detailed data on the conjugal and parental history of their two parents, Part I paints a portrait of the diverse family environments of these infants at the time of their birth. Certain information is also presented on the frequency of contact between non-custodial fathers and their infant.

Focusing on two-parent families, Part II provides a detailed analysis of the support given by the father (or spouse/partner) during the postnatal period. The degree of emotional and instrumental support (taking care of the baby, household chores) is examined in association with various characteristics of the infant, mother and father. Also studied is the interplay between spousal support reported by the mother and various aspects of the mother/child and father/child relationships.

The analyses presented in this paper are part of a large body of research flowing from the longitudinal study, aimed at providing a better understanding of the associations among family and conjugal dynamics and the development of Québec children of preschool age.