Understanding parenting stress among young, low-income, african-american, first-time mothers

Yiting Chang, Mark A. Fine, Jean Ispa, Kathy R. Thornburg, Elizabeth Sharp, Miriam Wolfenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to test a theoretical model that examined the extent to which cognitive readiness to parent, perceived difficult child temperament, observed parenting behaviors, and positive coping styles predicted parenting stress among young, low-income, first-time, African-American mothers. One hundred and twenty African-American, first-time mothers who applied to the Early Head Start program were selected to participate in this study. Results based on structural equation modeling indicated that: (1) observed positive parenting behaviors were negatively related to parenting stress; (2) difficult child temperament was positively related to parenting stress; (3) positive coping styles did not buffer the relationship between difficult child temperament and parenting stress; (4) difficult child temperament was not directly associated with observed parenting behaviors; (5) cognitive readiness to parent was only indirectly related to parenting stress; and (6) observed parenting behaviors mediated the link between cognitive readiness to parent and parenting stress. Future research directions and implications of these findings for professionals working with young mothers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004


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