Spillover between mothers' postdivorce relationships: The mediating role of parenting stress

Authors

  • ESTHER M. HAKVOORT,

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    1. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    • Esther M. Hakvoort, Henny M. W. Bos, Frank van Balen, and Jo M. A. Hermanns, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • HENNY M. W. BOS,

    1. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    • Esther M. Hakvoort, Henny M. W. Bos, Frank van Balen, and Jo M. A. Hermanns, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • FRANK VAN BALEN,

    1. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    • Esther M. Hakvoort, Henny M. W. Bos, Frank van Balen, and Jo M. A. Hermanns, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • JO M. A. HERMANNS

    1. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    • Esther M. Hakvoort, Henny M. W. Bos, Frank van Balen, and Jo M. A. Hermanns, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Esther M. Hakvoort, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands, e-mail: E.M.Hakvoort@uva.nl.

Abstract

This study examined the differences and associations between divorced mothers' relationships with their ex-partners and with their children, and investigated whether this association is mediated by mothers' experience of parenting stress. A questionnaire was completed by 117 divorced single mothers and 64 remarried mothers. Results show that the single mothers and the remarried mothers did not differ on postdivorce family relationship quality or on their experience of parenting stress. Furthermore, divorced mothers' relationship with their ex-partners was found to be associated with the quality of the mother–child relationship, but not when controlling for mothers' experience of parenting stress. The results show that maternal parenting stress mediates the association between conflicts between ex-partners and the quality of the mother–child relationship.

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