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Parental Distress and Child Behavior Problems: Parenting Behaviors as Mediators

Authors
  • Sanner, Catherine M.1
  • Neece, Cameron L.1
  • 1 Loma Linda University, Department of Psychology, 11130 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA, 92350, USA , Loma Linda (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Oct 07, 2017
Volume
27
Issue
2
Pages
591–601
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10826-017-0884-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Parents of children with developmental disabilities (DD) typically report higher levels of parental stress than parents of typically developing children. While the majority of the literature addresses child behavior problems as predictors of parental stress, research has shown that the relation is bi-directional. However, very little research has examined the effects of parental stress on child behavior problems and the possible parenting factors that may explain this relation. The current study utilized data from the Mindful Awareness for Parenting Stress (MAPS) study (N = 31; % male = 67.7, mean age = 3.5, SD = .96; 81% ethic minority), and examined positive parenting behaviors as mediators in the relation between parenting distress and child behavior. Results from a multiple mediation analysis indicated that Parental Distress had a significant direct effect on total Child Behavior Problems, b = 1.11, p < .05. Additionally, Quality of Mother's Assistance was a significant mediator in the relation between Parental Distress and Child Behavior Problems, ab = .482, 95% BCa 95% CI [.022, 2.33]. Neither Level of Involvement nor Mother's Supportive Presence significantly mediated the relation between Parental Distress and Child Behavior Problems, ps > .05. Findings suggest that improving the quality of the parent/child interaction may play a key role in the relation between parenting stress and child behavior problems. The current study could help to inform future parenting interventions by emphasizing the importance of targeting quality of parent assistance type parenting behaviors for improving child behavior outcomes.

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