Mothers are often children's primary caregivers. Fathers have historically been viewed as marginally involved, leaving mothers with disproportionate shares of the parenting responsibilities and the associated parenting stress. Although more researchers are examining fathers' roles and behavior within the family, relatively little is known about how fathers' involvement impacts mothers' parenting stress. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the ways in which fathers' instrumental contributions and mothers' perception of fathers' expressive contributions to the family affect maternal parenting stress. Utilizing data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, hierarchical regression analysis, revealed that in addition to mothers' and children's characteristics, the level of perceived emotional parenting support that fathers provided to mothers predicted maternal parenting stress. Implications for family practitioners working with low income and minority populations are included. (Author abstract)
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