Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Parenting stress, low-income families, material hardship

Major Advisor

Edna Brown

Associate Advisor

Kari L. Adamsons

Associate Advisor

JoAnn L. Robinson

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Researchers have been particularly interested in how contextual and psychosocial factors increase unmarried parents’ risk for parenting stress because of its potentially harmful impact on parental and child outcomes (Belsky, 1984; Crnic & Low, 2002; Peterson, Hennon, & Knox, 2010). In particular, research has shown that economic hardship increases parents’ risk for parenting stress (Bronte-Tinkew, Horowitz, & Carrano, 2010; DeKylen, Brooks-Gunn, McLanahan, & Knab, 2006; Teitler, Reichman, & Nepomnyaschy, 2004). The goal of this study was to test a model that examined: (1) the impact of mothers’ material hardship on both mothers’ and fathers’ parenting stress in unmarried families; and (2) whether instrumental support, supportive coparenting, fathers’ residential status, and race moderated the impact of material hardship on parenting stress. This study found that mothers’ material hardship was related to mothers’ parenting stress, but not fathers’ parenting stress. Instrumental support, supportive coparenting, fathers’ residential status, and race were not significant moderators. Directions for future research are discussed.