Parenting Stress and the Use of Formal and Informal Child Care: Associations for Fathers and Mothers
AuthorChurchill, B; Craig, J
Source TitleJournal of Family Issues
AffiliationSchool of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsChurchill, B. & Craig, J. (2018). Parenting Stress and the Use of Formal and Informal Child Care: Associations for Fathers and Mothers. Journal of Family Issues, 39 (12), pp.3203-3224. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X18776419.
Access StatusOpen Access
We investigated relationships between nonparental care and psychological strains of parenthood. Using data from employed parents of children below 5 years of age (n = 6,886 fathers and mothers) from Waves 4 to 11 of the household panel survey Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), we constructed a parenting stress scale from the average of four items (α =.76) administered in the Self-Completion Questionnaire. We ran panel random-effects regression models testing associations between amount and type of nonparental care and parenting stress, for both mothers and fathers. We distinguished between formal care, informal and family care (mainly grandparents), and mixed care. Results showed that fathers and mothers’ parenting stress is positively associated with hours of nonparental care, but that for both genders parenting stress is significantly lower if the care is provided by informal/family carers.
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