Tinu Oduloye

Parenting Stress Is Associated with Parent Attitudes Towards Toddlers During COVID-19

Background: The coronavirus pandemic of 2019 has contributed to a lot of stress for families with young children from financial issues, job loss, illness, and even childcare arrangements. Despite some stressors, the pandemic has given families a lot of time together to build strong bonds. However, parents may also be stressed due to losing a job, working from home, or lacking childcare. Previous studies have shown that parenting stress may impact a parent's attitudes towards their child, such as lowered parental warmth. But, whether this association differs during the COVID-19 pandemic or varies based on families' work and childcare arrangements has not been determined. Therefore, this study examined the association between parenting stress and parental warmth and negativity towards their children, and whether that relationship varies by childcare arrangements and working from home.

Method: The sample included 25 parents of 18- to 36-month-olds from various locations in Minnesota. The study consisted of a brief online survey and a five-minute speech sample (FMSS; Narayan et al. 2012) conducted over Zoom, which measures parent warmth and negativity. Childcare arrangements and parenting stress were measured by parent self-report and the Parental Stress Scale (PSS; Berry & Jones, 1995).

Planned analysis: To test the associations between parenting stress, parental warmth and negativity, and childcare arrangements, we plan to fit a series of linear regression models.

Conclusion: Future studies should continue to look at other variables that may be stressors for families during the pandemic, such as job loss, to inform future interventions and policies