Objective: In the 1st year of the post-partum period, parenting stress, mental health,
and dyadic adjustment are important for the wellbeing of both parents and the
child. However, there are few studies that analyze the relationship among these three
dimensions. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between parenting
stress, mental health (depressive and anxiety symptoms), and dyadic adjustment among
Method: We studied 268 parents (134 couples) of healthy babies. At 12 months
post-partum, both parents filled out, in a counterbalanced order, the Parenting Stress
Index-Short Form, the Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety
Inventory, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Structural equation modeling was used
to analyze the potential mediating effects of mental health on the relationship between
parenting stress and dyadic adjustment.
Results: Results showed the full mediation effect of mental health between parenting
stress and dyadic adjustment. A multi-group analysis further found that the paths did
not differ across mothers and fathers.
Discussion: The results suggest that mental health is an important dimension that
mediates the relationship between parenting stress and dyadic adjustment in the
transition to parenthood.
- parenting stress, mental health, dyadic adjustment,