All Posts in “stress”

Infant Sleep and Maternal Stress

For families with newborns, is there an association between infant and parent sleep and the level of stress the parents are experiencing?  Most people would say a resounding “YES,” and they would be right.  This is not surprising.  Also not surprising is that this correlation between sleep and stress is greater for mothers rather than fathers.  What is surprising, however, is how this connection between sleep and stress is even greater for mothers on maternity leave.  It seems that mothers on maternity leave have greater stress in response to poor sleep than mothers that return to work.  Researchers hypothesized that mothers on maternity leave are more stressed because they provide care “around the clock” without a sufficient opportunity to rest.

Abstract:  Infant sleep, parental sleep and parenting stress in families of mothers on maternity leave and in families of working mothers, Infant Behavior and Development

How Do Multiple Parenting Roles Take a Toll?

Parents in a more traditional role may be less at risk for depression.  Researchers examined numerous parenting roles while measuring participating parents for symptoms of depression.  The findings suggested that:

  • Having a stepchild was associated with the parent having more depressive symptoms.
  • Having a biological child living in the home while another biological child resided outside the home was also associated with a greater likelihood of depression.
  • A greater chance of depressive symptoms existed for parents with both a biological child and a stepchild living in the home.

Abstract: Parenting and Depression: Differences Across Parental Roles, Journal of Family Issues