Personal and environmental factors contributing to parenting stress among employed and nonemployed women

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Abstract

Over the past 20 years, significantly more women have returned to the workforce after the birth of their child. Despite gains made by the second women's movement and attendant socio-political changes, women continue to bear the major parenting responsibilities in addition to household chores. Does this additional role of workforce member result in a more highly stressed mother? This study recruited 120 mothers of infants and toddlers from a range of occupations who provided information on their adjustment to parenting as well as individual difference factors such as maternal self-confidence, somatic complaints, and Type A behaviour. The results suggest that the level of parenting stress is not related to employment status alone. However, the factors contributing to reported parenting stress do vary by employment status. These results highlight the need to examine the interaction of personal and environmental dimensions when studying this complex area.

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