To date, it is unclear which factors are associated with parenting stress.
There are no studies investigating the association between parenting stress and coping strategies such as coparenting and social support, while simultaneously considering demographic and obstetric factors, in mothers of singletons and twins.
To investigate if parenting stress is associated with personal, and obstetric characteristics, the level of coparenting, and the availability of and satisfaction with social support in mothers of singletons and twins until one year postpartum.
A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 151 singleton mothers and 101 twin mothers were included.
Both singleton and twin mothers experiencing lower parenting stress levels indicated a better coparenting relationship quality (β = −0.253, p < 0.01; β = −0.341, p = 0.001). Elevated parenting stress levels positively influenced the level of satisfaction with social support in only mothers of twins (β = 0.273, p < 0.01). The availability of social support, personal, and obstetric characteristics were not associated with the level of parenting stress in neither singleton nor twin mothers.
Coparenting seems to be a significant coping strategy reducing the level of parenting stress in singleton and twin mothers, irrespective of their personal and obstetric characteristics. Large-scale longitudinal research is needed to identify predictors of parenting stress, which may help to develop parenting stress reducing interventions. The acknowledgement and support of an adequate coparenting relationship quality by health care professionals might be an important factor to include in such interventions.
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Published online: September 20, 2017
Accepted: September 1, 2017
Received in revised form: August 23, 2017
Received: May 15, 2017
© 2017 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.