Parenting anxiety and stress: Does gender play a part at 3 months of age?

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In this study, the authors compared 90 pairs of mothers and fathers with respect to aspects of negative emotionality experienced in the early parenting role. Mothers and fathers of 90 healthy 3-month-old infants completed questionnaires pertaining to parenting stress and separation anxiety. Mothers reported significantly higher levels of negative emotionality than did fathers. An interaction effect of parent with child gender on the level of parenting stress was indicated. Mothers of sons reported more stress than did mothers of daughters. The child's gender was not related to the level of separation anxiety expressed by mothers and fathers. The findings suggested that, at 3 months of age, the child's gender plays a role in the parenting experience, but the impact is (a) moderated by the parent's gender and (b) construct-specific (e.g., stress). These findings are in line with a multidetermined model of parenting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Gender
  • Parenting stress
  • Separation anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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