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Scand J Psychol. 2004 Apr;45(2):169-79.

Psychosocial correlates of parenting stress, lack of support and lack of confidence/security.

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Division of Pediatrics, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.


The purpose of the current study was to identify important correlates of parenting stress, frequently conceptualized as a mediator of suboptimal family function, and of social support and confidence/security, often regarded as buffers. Potential correlates of these concepts were assessed in questionnaires at delivery and at one year, in a sample of 16,000 families in Sweden. Predictors (1) of parenting stress were parental dissatisfaction and poor child sleeping patterns; (2) of lack of support included lack of confidence/security, parents born abroad, single motherhood, and maternal health problems; and (3) of lack of confidence/security were lack of support and serious life events. Mothers lacking social support or confidence/security exhibited significantly higher stress. Although parenting stress is a complex phenomenon certain risk factors can be emphasized, such as sleep problems which appear more important than child health problems. These risk factors can be used both in efforts to prevent stress and in studies of stress effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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