Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Parenting Stress Among White, Black, American Indian, and Hispanic Mothers

Parenting stress can have long-term effects on parents and children, but little is known about racial and ethnic differences in parenting stress. Using baseline survey data from a probability sample in the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment (N = 2,26), we examine parenting stress among White, Black, American Indian, and Hispanic mothers. This study employs OLS regressions and Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions. Parenting stress scores among Whites and American Indians were on average significantly lower than among Blacks and Hispanics. Regressions indicate that across all four groups, parenting stress is positively associated with maternal depression and negatively associated with social supports. Decomposition results show that racial and ethnic disparities in parenting stress would be decreased significantly if minority mothers had the same levels of depression and social supports as White mothers. Findings call for intervention strategies to reduce depression and strengthen social supports among mothers, especially among racial and ethnic minority mothers.

Subsequent publication: Nam, Y., Wikoff, N., & Sherraden, M. (2015). Racial and ethnic differences in parenting stress: Evidence from a statewide sample of new mothers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(2), 278–288. doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9833-z

Citation

Nam, Y., Wikoff, N., & Sherraden, M. (2012). Parenting stress among White, Black, American Indian, and Hispanic mothers: Evidence from a statewide sample of new mothers (CSD Working Paper No. 12-06). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.