Pregnancy Acceptance, Parenting Stress, and Toddler Attachment in Low-Income Black Families


Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 314 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri—Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (


Questionnaire items tapping feelings about pregnancy were administered to 173 young, low-income primiparous Black mothers who either were pregnant or had delivered within the past year. A factor analysis indicated that 11 items together measured mothers’ acceptance of the pregnancies that resulted in the births of their first children. Links to mothers’ later parenting stress, warmth, and their toddlers’ attachment security were explored. Pregnancy acceptance was a negative predictor of one aspect of maternal parenting stress (distress resulting from feelings that parenting is burdensome) and a positive predictor of toddler attachment security. It did not, however, predict another aspect of parenting stress (feelings that interactions with children are not enjoyable) or maternal warmth.