The Mediating Role of Parenting Stress in Methadone-Maintained Mothers' Parenting

Nancy E. Suchman, Suniya S. Luthar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective. To (1) examine the subjective experience of parenting stress as a mediator between 2 distal stressors (sociodemographic risk and global psychological maladjustment), and examine the parenting of methadone-maintained mothers, and (2) identify maladaptive and adaptive parenting correlates of specific types of parenting stress. Design. We analyzed baseline data from interviews conducted with 74 methadone-maintained mothers who expressed interest in a randomized clinical trial study testing the efficacy of a relational parenting intervention. Baseline measures included questionnaires on maternal psychological maladjustment, parenting stress, parenting problems, and children's maladjustment. Three series of hierarchical linear regressions were conducted to test the mediation model and specificity of associations. Results. Parenting stress mediated the associations between sociodemographic risk and 2 maladaptive parenting domains (aggression and neglect) and between psychological maladjustment and all 5 parenting domains examined (aggression, neglect, affective interactions, limit setting, and autonomy), although correlations were modest. Child-focused stress was associated with higher levels of aggression, limit-setting problems, and restricted autonomy. Stress derived from the mother - child relationship was associated with higher levels of neglect and affective withdrawal. Conclusions. Although preliminary in nature, results of this study indicate the importance of understanding the role of internal mechanisms (e.g., parenting stress) in the parenting processes of addicted women and examining specific correlates of their parenting problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-315
Number of pages31
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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