Maternal Resilience as a Protective Factor Between Financial Stress and Child Outcomes

Hayley D. Seely, Kristin Mickelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The physical, mental, and behavioral impact of living in poverty is significant; research shows that individuals who experience financial stress in childhood are more likely to suffer from impaired mental health and continue experiencing similar stressors in adulthood. Less clear is the role of maternal resilience on child outcomes in the face of financial stress. The current study focused on maternal resilience as a moderator between objective financial stress and child outcomes. Additionally, we proposed that subjective financial stress would mediate the interaction between maternal resilience and objective financial stress on child outcomes. To test these hypotheses, we utilized data from the Mothers’ Outcomes Matter Study in which 116 low-income mothers were interviewed about their stress, resilience, and their child’s mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes. Results suggest that maternal self-esteem and mastery buffer the relationship between objective financial stress and child outcomes, but subjective financial stress did not mediate the association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Issues
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • family processes
  • financial stress
  • low income
  • mother–child relationships
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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