Risk and Protective Factors, Parenting Stress, and Harsh Parenting in Mexican Origin Mothers with Toddlers

Jennifer A. Mortensen, Melissa A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


In a community sample of Mexican origin mothers with toddlers (n = 58), we examined risk and protective factors associated with mothers’ feelings of parenting stress and reports of harsh parenting practices. We evaluated maternal depressive symptoms, economic hardship, and child negative affect as risk factors and mothers’ global social support and romantic relationship quality as protective factors. Results indicated that depressive symptoms and economic hardship were unique predictors of increased parenting stress, whereas romantic relationship quality was associated with decreased parenting stress. Maternal depressive symptoms and romantic relationship quality were uniquely associated with harsh parenting practices; moreover, these statistical associations were accounted for by mothers’ feelings of parenting stress. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for programs that work with Mexican origin families with young children who are experiencing parenting stress, highlighting the importance of comprehensive interventions for reducing parenting stress in this rapidly growing population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015



  • Mexican families
  • children
  • parenthood/parenting
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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