Browsing Psychology by Author "Weyand, Chelsea"
Parenting a Child with Behavior Problems: Dimensions of Religiousness that Influence Parental Stress and Sense of CompetenceWeyand, Chelsea (2010-09-22)Parenting a child with behavior problems has been associated with an increase in parental stress and a decrease in parental sense of competence. While parental religiosity has generally been associated with greater child and parent functioning, it has been suggested that when parenting a child with behavior problems, some aspects of parental religiousness (e.g., negative religious coping, biblical conservatism) might decrease functioning. One hundred and thirty-nine parents of children between the ages of three and twelve completed a questionnaire in order to examine the influence of religious variables (sanctification of parenting, negative religious coping, positive religious coping, biblical conservatism) on the relationship between child behavior problems and parental stress and sense of competence. Sanctification of parenting was found to moderate the relationship between child behavior problems and parental stress, such that parents high in sanctification showed little change in parenting stress as severity of behavior problems increased. Similarly, positive religious coping was found to play a protective role in the relationship between behavior problems and parental sense of competence. Overall, positive religious coping was related to increased stress in parents of children with few behavior problems while not decreasing stress for parents of children with more difficult behavior. Parents of children with greater perceived behavior problems reported significantly higher sanctification of parenting and parenting stress, as well as lesser use of positive religious coping and lower sense of competence. Negative religious coping and biblical conservatism did not moderate the relationship between child behavior problems and parental stress, nor sense of competence. This study provides further clarification of the dimensions of religiousness that are relevant to the parenting experience. It also provides evidence to suggest that parental religiousness can have either a positive or negative influence on parental functioning, depending on parenting circumstances and personal perceptions of God and religion.