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J Fam Psychol. 2003 Sep;17(3):409-18.

Social support and the quality of parenting under economic pressure and workload in Finland: the role of family structure and parental gender.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University, P.O. Box 280, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland.


This study focused on how factors outside the home affect the quality of mothering and fathering. Economic pressure and workload were evaluated along with the compensating role of social support on parenting. Information was gathered from 842 mothers and 573 fathers including 139 single-mother and 21 single-father families. The results showed that the nature of the strains, together with parental gender and family structure, influenced their effects on parenting. The results further revealed some gender- and strain-specific protective functions of social support on parenting. For example, economic pressure was related to increased punitive parenting, which was compensated by instrumental and emotional support among the mothers. Workload was related to less authoritative single fathering, which was compensated by instrumental support.

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