4 years ago

Value change in men and women entering parenthood: New mothers' value priorities shift towards Conservation values

There is little research on how life transitions influence value priorities. Our purpose was to investigate, within the framework provided by Schwartz's Values Theory, the effects of entering parenthood on personal values. Study 1 (N =12,850), employing cross-sectional European Social Survey data, showed that Finnish mothers, as compared to non-mothers, were closer to the Conservation pole of the value dimensions that opposes Conservation values with Openness to Change values. Study 2 longitudinally followed Finnish couples (N =292) entering parenthood from the first weeks of pregnancy to three months after childbirth. Both self- and spouse-ratings of values showed that new mothers' value priorities shifted towards Conservation values. New mothers perceived a similar shift in new fathers' personal values, but no changes occurred in men's self-ratings. Neither study suggested change on the value dimension that opposes Self-Transcendence values with Self-Enhancement values. Across the cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, and across self- and spouse-ratings of values, our results consistently suggest that new mothers' shift their value priorities in the direction of increased Conservation over Openness to Change. These results are consistent with the notion that value change may facilitate adaptation to life events.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0191886917305111

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