Parenting is an important job, yet its demands and responsibilities can sometimes lead to high levels of anxiety and frustration. Because parental functioning is one of the critical factors determining whether children flourish, it is important to examine stress that can jeopardize effective parenting. Very little research has examined the prevalence of parental aggravation, whether it has changed over time, or how it may vary across states. In this brief, we examine data on this measure collected from two nationally representative surveys: the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), fielded in 1997, 1999, and 2002; and the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), fielded in 2003, 2007, and 2011/12. While NSAF included representative data on 13 states only, NSCH yields representative data for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia; both surveys also provide national estimates. Thus, we are able to examine national trends and trends for 13 states over a 15-year period, and trends for 38 states (including the District of Columbia) over a nine-year period. (Author abstract)
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