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Social Support for Divorced Fathers’ Parenting: Testing a Stress-Buffering Model*

Authors

  • David S. DeGarmo,

    Corresponding author
      **David S. DeGarmo is a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphy Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401-4928 (davidd@oslc.org)
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  • Joshua Patras,

    Corresponding author
      Joshua Patras is a doctoral candidate at The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development at the University of Oslo, Klingenberggata 4, Oslo, Norway 0161 (joshuap@atferdssenteret.no)
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  • Sopagna Eap

    Corresponding author
      Sopagna Eap is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1227 (seap@uoregon.edu).
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  • *

    Research in this paper was supported by grant R01 HD 42115 funded by the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and in part, by grants P20 DA 017592, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Branch, National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), and R01 DA 16097 Prevention Research Branch, NIDA.

**David S. DeGarmo is a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphy Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97401-4928 (davidd@oslc.org). Joshua Patras is a doctoral candidate at The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development at the University of Oslo, Klingenberggata 4, Oslo, Norway 0161 (joshuap@atferdssenteret.no). Sopagna Eap is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1227 (seap@uoregon.edu).

Abstract

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.

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