Abstract: Relationships between Relationship Quality, Co-Parenting, and Parenting Stress Using Actor Partner Interdependence Model (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

303P Relationships between Relationship Quality, Co-Parenting, and Parenting Stress Using Actor Partner Interdependence Model

Friday, January 13, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
In Young Park, MSW, Doctoral Student, MSW, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Rachel Speer, PhD, Assistant professor, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
Jangmin Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Jennifer Bellamy, PhD, Professor, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Jin Yao Kwan, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Paula Powe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Aaron Banman, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska, Omaha
Neil Guterman, PhD, Paulette Goddard Professor, New York University
Justin Harty, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, AZ
Sandra Morales-Mirque, BA, Project Coordinator, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background and Purpose: Relationship conflict has negative consequences on parenting stress among new parents, which can also lead to adverse developmental outcomes for children. Studies have suggested that co-parenting can play an important role as a potential mediator between interparental relationships and parental adjustment. While the mediating role of co-parenting in reducing parenting stress is well documented (Feinberg et al., 2007; Kwan et al., 2015), most studies have typically analyzed data from mothers and fathers separately, thereby ignoring the interdependence and mutual influence between parents. This study applied the Actor Partner Interdependence Model-Mediation (APIM-M) to identify the mediating role of co-parenting on the influence of interparental relationships on parenting stress among both fathers and mothers.

Methods: Data were drawn from a randomized controlled trial of the Dads Matter-HV intervention study from 204 families across 12 months of services. This study utilized a subsample of parents at 4 months (N = 151; Mage = 25.51). Most parents identified as Latino (61.8%) or African American (23.5%). Analyses used parents’ reports of interparental relationships assessed with 9 items. Parenting stress was measured by asking parents about stressful daily events associated with parenting. Co-parenting was measured by using parents’ reports of co-parenting alliance with 8 items from the Co-parenting Alliance Inventory (Abidin &Konold, 1999). Due to the small sample size, all three variables were used as manifest indicators. Covariates included educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and race and ethnicity after taking out the demographic variables that were not significant in the model.

Results: A hypothesized model test revealed appropriate goodness-of-fit (χ2 (13)= 13.44, RMSEA = .02, CFI=.99, TLI = .98).Fathers’ co-parenting had both actor (β = −0.20, p < .001) and partner (β = −0.46, p < .001) effects on parenting stress. Mothers’ co-parenting only had an actor effect on their parenting stress (β = -0.42, p < .001). In addition, fathers’ relationship quality (β = −0.44, p < .001) had an indirect effect on fathers’ parenting stress, and fathers’ relationship quality (β = −0.25, p < .05) had an indirect effect on mothers’ parenting stress.

Implications: Our results demonstrate that mothers’ parenting stress can be reduced by the actor effect of mother’s co-parenting as well as the partner effect of fathers’ co-parenting, suggesting that co-parenting can have a positive effect on both fathers and mothers. While most existing interventions during the family formation stage focus on mothers, our findings illustrate the importance of involving fathers in intervention programs and facilitating their co-parenting behaviors. Interventions that focus on relationship quality and co-parenting support between parents will serve to bolster family functioning and children’s positive outcomes.