Parental stress in early parenthood among mothers and fathers in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 27, no 4, 839-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Parental stress affects parenting behaviour and the quality of dyadic parent–child interactions. Mothers generally show higher parental stress than fathers.
Our aims were to assess the perceived level of parental stress in early parenthood and examine the differences between mothers and fathers within couples in relation to their levels of education, parental experience, existence of a parental role model and sense of coherence.
In total, 307 mothers and 301 fathers of 18-month-old children answered the Swedish Parenthood Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ); and 318 mothers and 311 fathers answered the Sense of Coherence (SOC-3) scale; 283 couples answered both the SPSQ and SOC-3.
Mothers perceived higher levels of stress than fathers in the sub-areas incompetence (p < 0.001), role restriction (p < 0.001), spouse relationship problems (p = 0.004) and health problems (p = 0.027), and in total (p = 0.001). In contrast, fathers perceived higher stress than mothers in the sub-area social isolation (p < 0.001). When the data were stratified with respect to education, parental experience, existence of a parental role model and sense of coherence, significant results were observed in some of these sub-areas.
Mothers and fathers experience stress in different areas during their early parenthood. Healthcare professionals should be aware of the differences in stress that exist between mothers and fathers, so that parents can be adequately prepared for parenthood and avoid parental stress.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 27, no 4, 839-847 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207916DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01088.xISI: 000328140200008PubMedID: 23067055OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-207916DiVA: diva2:650336