Father Involvement and Mothers’ Parenting Stress: The Role of Relationship Status
Although the salutatory effects of father involvement on child well-being are well established, whether similar benefits accrue to children’s mothers is unknown. The prevailing cultural ideal of involved fathering coupled with the growing complexity of mother-father relationship contexts signal that an examination of how father involvement shapes mothers’ parenting stress is overdue. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study (N = 2,480) , we find father involvement is related to lower parenting stress for mothers who are married to, cohabiting with, or dating the child’s father, but not for mothers who are no longer romantically involved with the father. For mothers living with a new partner, the current partner’s, not the biological father’s, involvement is related to less parenting stress. Results support the notion that the stress buffering effectiveness of social support, conceptualized here as father involvement, depends on the relationship context between support recipients and providers.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2012|
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- Laura Tach & Ronald Mincy & Kathryn Edin, 2010. "Parenting as A “package deal”: Relationships, fertility, and nonresident father involvement among unmarried parents," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 181-204, February.
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