Understanding the Relationships between Parenting Stress and Mental Health with Grandparent Kinship Caregivers’ Risky Parenting Behaviors in the Time of COVID-19

Yanfeng Xu, Qi Wu, Merav Jedwab, Sue E. Levkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Grandparent kinship caregivers may experience increased parenting stress and mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may lead to risky parenting behaviors, such as psychological aggression, corporal punishment, and neglectful behaviors towards their grandchildren. This study aims to examine (1) the relationships between parenting stress, mental health, and grandparent kinship caregivers’ risky parenting practices, such as psychological aggression, corporal punishment, and neglectful behaviors towards their grandchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) whether grandparent kinship caregivers’ mental health is a potential mediator between parenting stress and caregivers’ psychological aggression, corporal punishment, and neglectful behaviors. A cross-sectional survey among grandparent kinship caregivers (N = 362) was conducted in June 2020 in the United States. Descriptive analyses, negative binomial regression analyses, and mediation analyses were conducted using STATA 15.0. We found that (1) grandparent kinship caregivers’ high parenting stress and low mental health were associated with more psychological aggression, corporal punishment, and neglectful parenting behaviors during COVID-19; and (2) grandparent kinship caregivers’ mental health partially mediated the relationships between parenting stress and their psychological aggression, corporal punishment, and neglectful behaviors. Results suggest that decreasing grandparent kinship caregivers’ parenting stress and improving their mental health are important for reducing child maltreatment risk during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Corporal punishment
  • Grandparents
  • Kinship care
  • Mental health
  • Neglect
  • Parenting stress
  • Psychological aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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