TitleFathers' decline in testosterone and synchrony with partner testosterone during pregnancy predicts greater postpartum relationship investment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSaxbe, DE, Edelstein, RS, Lyden, HM, Wardecker, BM, Chopik, WJ, Moors, AC
JournalHorm Behav
Date Published2017 Apr
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Fathers, Female, Humans, Infant, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Middle Aged, Mothers, Parent-Child Relations, Parenting, Parents, Personal Satisfaction, Postpartum Period, Pregnancy, Testosterone, Young Adult

<p>The transition to parenthood has been associated with declines in testosterone among partnered fathers, which may reflect males' motivation to invest in the family. Moreover, preliminary evidence has found that couples show correlations in hormone levels across pregnancy that may also be linked to fathers' preparation for parenthood. The current study used repeated-measures sampling of testosterone across pregnancy to explore whether fathers' change in T, and correlations with mothers' T, were associated with fathers' and mothers' postpartum investment. In a sample of 27 couples (54 individuals) expecting their first child, both parents' salivary testosterone was measured multiple times across pregnancy. At approximately 3.5months postpartum, participants rated their investment, commitment, and satisfaction with their partner. A multilevel model was used to measure change in testosterone over time and associations between mother and father testosterone. Fathers who showed stronger declines in T across pregnancy, and stronger correlations with mothers' testosterone, reported higher postpartum investment, commitment, and satisfaction. Mothers reported more postpartum investment and satisfaction if fathers showed greater prenatal declines in T. These results held even after controlling for paternal investment, commitment, and satisfaction measured prenatally at study entry. Our results suggest that changes in paternal testosterone across pregnancy, and hormonal linkage with the pregnant partner, may underlie fathers' dedication to the partner relationship across the transition to parenthood.</p>

Alternate JournalHorm Behav
PubMed ID27469070