Partnership Dissolution after Childbirth in Ireland: On the Importance of Pregnancy Intentions

  • Thorsten Schneider University of Leipzig


Several approaches frame childbirth as an event that can reduce partnership quality, generate work-family conflicts, intensify financial pressures, and increase separation risk. The present study discusses theories of separation in relation to pregnancy intentions leading to a birth and analyses data from Growing Up in Ireland. Transition rate models of parental separation nine months to five years after childbirth show higher risks of separation after pregnancies described as “somewhat too early”, “much too early” and after “unwanted” pregnancies. These differences are due partly to sociodemographic factors that influence unplanned pregnancies and subsequent separation. Increases in workfamily conflicts after birth do not increase separation risk.