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Keywords:

  • divorce;
  • fathers;
  • multiple method;
  • parenting;
  • social support;
  • stress

Abstract: A stress-buffering hypothesis for parenting was tested in a county-representative sample of 218 divorced fathers. Social support for parenting (emergency and nonemergency child care, practical support, financial support) was hypothesized to moderate effects of stress (role overload, coparental conflict, and daily hassles) on fathers’ quality parenting. No custody fathers relied more on relatives compared with custodial fathers, who relied more on new partners for parenting support. No differences by custody status were found on levels of support or parenting over time. Parenting support buffered effects of change in role overload and coparenting conflict on coercive parenting and buffered effects of change in daily hassles on prosocial parenting. Buffer effects were more predictive over time. Implications for practice and preventive intervention strategies are discussed.