Parental Stress, Child Behavior Trigger Maternal Mental Health Deterioration: Study
The behavior of a child affects the physical and mental well-being of parents and it can be as stressful as raising a kid with illness or any physical disability. This is especially true for parents in low-income and racially diverse families, according to a recent Penn State research.
“When dealing with family health issues, often the focus is on the child. I wanted to look at how parental health is impacted when raising a child with health and behavior problems,” said lead author of the study Rhonda BeLue, an associate professor of health policy and administration, who tried to examine the relationships of child conduct, health and stress in parents.
According to BeLue, it is paramount to manage parenting stress for the well-being of low-income and minority mothers and children throughout all stages of child development.
“Parenting stress has been linked to harsh parenting, maternal depression, and poor cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development in children and may have long lasting effects on the well-being of parents and children,” BeLue said.
The researchers of the study, published in PubMed Central in March 2016, chose their respondents from a sample of 177 mothers who were participating in a larger Penn State study called PATHS to Success directed by Mark Greenberg, professor of human development and psychology and founding director of the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State. The 177 mothers were low-income black, Latino, and white mothers of kindergartners with behavior problems.
The following formed the baseline assessment of the study which was collated in the fall of the children’s kindergarten year at school:
· Teachers rated the children’s behavior.
· Trained interviewers visited participants’ homes and quizzed on a plethora of areas, like mother’s health, family circumstances, approach to childrearing, kinds of behavior their children displayed at home.
Latino mothers seemed to experience highest rate of mental issues
On the basis of the above assessments, the researchers found that the mothers who were racially diverse with children having health and behavior problems were particularly susceptible to poor physical and mental health. The Latino mothers seemed to experience the highest rate of mental health problems, said BeLue.
Few other key takeaways:
· Older mothers reported more parenting hassles, compared to younger mothers, primarily due to child behavior problems.
· Working mothers reported better mental health but with a higher parenting stress as compared to non-working mothers.
· Less educated mothers faced more parenting hassles, mental stress, and health problems than the more educated ones.
However, the researchers noted that the most influencing factor in parenting stress were the hassles caused by the child’s conduct. It surpassed the other causes, like race, age, education level or employment status in causing parenting stress.
A prominent factor that can cushion this relationship between parenting hassles and stress is social support, the researchers said. On the contrary, the prevalence of poor health can worsen the situation.
“Health disparities exist among low-income, racially diverse families, but health is also dependent familial relationships. It is critical that family practitioners provide parenting resources and social support to these mothers,” said BeLue.
Recovery road map
Stress, anxiety disorder or any other mental health conditions can severely impact a person’s overall health. Procrastination in seeking psychiatric help can exacerbate the symptoms. Early intervention is the key to a long-term recovery in any mental disorder.
If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health issue, contact the Sovereign Mental Health Services, a premier mental health caregiver in the U.S., with centers spanning across the country. Whether it is generalized anxiety disorders treatment in California or a GAD treatment in Los Angeles, we provide comprehensive treatment for every mental disorder. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866–954–0529 for an immediate assistance. Our generalized anxiety treatment in Los Angeles is among the best in the country.