Parental Stressors

Parental stress is part of the parenting experience for both mothers and fathers. It arises when parenting demands exceed the expected and actual resources available to mothers and fathers that permit them to succeed in the parental role. Comparisons of mothers’ and fathers’ parental stress have found similarities and differences. In understanding these findings, it is important to consider that parenthood is often associated with a greater number of changes in mothers’ than in fathers’ lives because mothers are frequently children’s primary caregivers. Mothers and fathers have different opportunities to observe and interact with their children, and form different relationships with them, and so may have different experiences and outcomes of parental stress. This entry focuses on the determinants and effects of parental stress ...

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