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Intensive Parenting Make Mothers Depressed, Study


Intensive Parenting Make Mothers Depressed, Study

(epharmanews) – Women who believe in intensive parenting and that mothers should focus mostly on their children are often unhappy and more likely to have negative mental health outcomes, according to a new study from the University of Mary Washington in the US.

Kathryn Rizzo and colleagues, from the University of Mary Washington, conducted a study about whether intensive parenting, rather than parenting generally, was associated with increased levels of stress, depression and lower life satisfaction among 181 mothers of children under 5 years old. The participants answered an online questionnaire to measure to what extent mothers approved intensive parenting beliefs: mothers are the most necessary and capable parent; parents' happiness is derived primarily from their children; parents should always provide their children with stimulating activities that aid in their development; parenting is more difficult than working; a parent should always sacrifice their needs for the needs of the child.

The results, published in Journal of Child and Family Studies, showed that women who answered the questionnaire were generally satisfied with their lives but had moderate levels of stress and depression. Nearly 23 percent of the mothers suffered from symptoms of depression. Some women said that parenting was more stressful than being at work. There have also been suggestions that intensive parenting can result in increased stress and guilt, particularly for women.

Negative mental health outcomes were accounted for by women's endorsement of intensive parenting attitudes. When the level of family support was taken into account, those mothers who believed that women are the essential parent were less satisfied with their lives; those who believed that parenting is challenging were more stressed and depressed.

"If intensive mothering is related to so many negative mental health outcomes, why do women do it? They may think that it makes them better mothers, so they are willing to sacrifice their own mental health to enhance their children's cognitive, social and emotional outcomes. In reality, intensive parenting may have the opposite effect on children from what parents intend." The authors concluded.


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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

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