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Mothers' Depression and Parenting Efficacy among Economically Disadvantaged Korean Women: Test of a Mediation Model

Kim, Jean-Ie (2007) Mothers' Depression and Parenting Efficacy among Economically Disadvantaged Korean Women: Test of a Mediation Model. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examined the relationships between life stressors (acute stress, chronic stress, and parental stress) and maternal depression as they relate to parenting self-efficacy among economically disadvantaged Korean women. The present investigation was based on the premise that parenting behavior develops as the result of multiple factors, including stressors, which combine to produce a final effect. The family stress model was expanded to include an examination of socio-environmental stresses as factors that might impair parenting through negative effects on maternal psychological functioning. In addition, parental stress was added as a stressor contributing to parenting quality. The study also investigated the effects of maternal depression on parenting efficacy as a predictor and mediator.The study aimed to assess: (a) the relationship between mothers' stressors (acute, chronic, and parental stress) and parenting self-efficacy while controlling for income, mother's education, mother's job status and total support; (b) the relationships between mothers' stressors and maternal depression; (c) the relationship between maternal depression and parenting self-efficacy; and (d) a mediating effect of maternal depression on the relationship between mothers' stressors and parenting self-efficacy.The study design was cross-sectional, and employed a convenience sampling method. The study participants were Korean mothers of children ages 3-5 in 12 daycare centers in Seoul, Korea. A total of 429 individuals participated in this study and data on 408 cases were analyzed.The results showed that socio-environmental stress and parental stress could result in depression and a low level of parenting self-efficacy among Korean mothers. Although income was an important variable, chronic stress and parental stress were found to be even more influential variables on maternal depression and parenting self-efficacy. This study found that the lower the income, the more vulnerable the mother was to stress, and it also showed that chronic stressors had more influence on maternal depression for low-income mothers than for middle-class mothers. This study showed that the mental health of low-income mothers mediated the relationship between chronic stress and parenting. To maximize effective parenting under high-stress conditions, mothers need to first protect their own psychological well-being against environmental contexts. For the welfare of the children, attention must be shown to the mental health of mothers and their welfare. Policy development and management for these issues are desperately needed in Korea.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kim, Jean-Ie
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairSales, Esthersales@pitt.eduSALES
Committee CoChairKoeske, Garygkoeske@pitt.eduGKOESKE
Committee MemberGrote, Nancynkg@pitt.eduNKG
Committee MemberKoeske, Randirkoeske@pitt.eduRKOESKE
Date: 2 August 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 July 2007
Approval Date: 2 August 2007
Submission Date: 1 August 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: economically disadvantaged women; maternal depression; parental stress; parenting self-efficacy; socio-environmental stress
Other ID:, etd-08012007-173052
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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