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Relationships with Children: Explaining Parents' Psychological Well-Being
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Nov., 1989), pp. 999-1012
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353212
Page Count: 14
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Research on the effects of parenting on parents' psychological well-being typically focuses on the effects of parenthood versus childlessness or family composition variables such as number or living arrangements of children. These studies yield inconsistent results. Effects that are significant are typically small in magnitude. Previous research has not considered the content of parent-child relationships and how that content affects parents' well-being. This study focuses on two features of relational content—the quality of parent-child relationships and the level of demands placed by children on parents. The strongest predictors of relational quality are age of parent and divorced status of parent, with the former positively related to quality and the latter negatively related to quality. The strongest predictors of relational demands are sex and age of parents, with higher levels of demands for mothers than fathers, and an inverse relationship of age with demands. In turn, relational quality and, to a lesser extent, the demands of parenting are strongly related to parents' psychological well-being.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 1989 National Council on Family Relations