Date of Conferral
Divorce creates significant stress that can have an impact on parent-child relationship satisfaction. Past researchers have indicated that in times of high stress, parents may not be available for their children due to their personal issues. Attachment theory demonstrates the importance of the parent-child bond for the child as he or she matures, so this bond needs to be protected. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study was to examine the predictive relationship between parental stress as measured by the Parenting Stress Index, 4th Edition, Short Form (PSI-4-SF) and the parent-child relationship satisfaction as measured by the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI) following a separation or divorce. A sample of 17 recently separated or divorced, custodial mothers who had at least one child between the ages 5-13 years were recruited through local schools and the Walden Participant Pool. They completed the PSI-4-SF, the PCRI, and a demographics questionnaire. A correlation analysis was conducted to analyze the relationship between parental stress and the level of parent-child relationship satisfaction, which was found to possess a significant negative relationship. Multiple regression analyses were then conducted, but neither child gender or child age influenced this relationship between parental stress and parent-child relationship satisfaction. However, mothers did report higher parent-child relationship satisfaction when their child was male. This study has a small sample size, so results do need to be approached with caution. This knowledge of which families may be most at risk for increased stress may promote positive social change by providing professionals insight into which families may be most in need to learn stress control and management to help protect the parent-child relationship.