A majority of mothers experience parenting stress in daily life; however high levels of maternal stress have been recognized as a risk factor for children's developmental outcomes. We examined trajectories of maternal parenting stress across childhood, and their longitudinal relations to children's executive function and school adjustment. Data were drawn from the Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC), which included 1754 mothers across five waves measured at children ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (boys = 51%). Results of Latent Growth Curve Modeling (LGCM) revealed that, on average, maternal parenting stress decreased over time, but there were significant variabilities in the initial levels at age 3 and changes across early through middle childhood. High initial levels of stress and an increase in maternal parenting stress over time were associated with lower executive function at age 7 in planning-organizing and attention concentration. An increment in maternal parenting stress over time was related to poorer school adjustment at age 7, measured by classroom behavior, positive approach to learning, and child-peer and child-teacher relationships. These findings support cultural commonality and may contribute to the instantiation of culturally universal, early preventions and interventions to support mothers’ mental health. Efforts aimed at reducing maternal parenting stress early in development may promote better long-term developmental outcomes, including executive functioning and school adjustment of children in their first year of elementary school.
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© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)