Understanding social aspects of parental well-being is vital because parents’ welfare has implications not only for the parents themselves but also for child development, fertility, and the overall health of a society. This article provides a critical review of scholarship on parenthood and well-being in advanced economies published from 2010 to 2019. It focuses on the role of social, economic, cultural, and institutional contexts of parenting in influencing adult well-being. The authors identify major themes, achievements, and challenges and organize the review around the demands-rewards perspective and two other theoretical frameworks: the stress process model and the life course perspective.
The analysis shows that rising economic insecurities and inequalities and a diffusion of intensive parenting ideology were major social contexts of parenting in the 2010s. Scholarship linking parenting contexts and parental well-being illuminated how stressors related to providing and caring for children could unjustly burden some parents, especially mothers, those with fewer socioeconomic resources, and those with marginalized statuses. In that vein, researchers continued to emphasize how stressors diverged by parents’ socioeconomic status, gender, and partnership status, with new attention to strains experienced by racial/ethnic minority, immigrant, and sexual minority parents. Scholars’ comparisons of parents’ positions in various countries expanded, enhancing knowledge regarding specific policy supports that allow parents to thrive. Articulating future research within a stress process model framework, the authors show vibrant theoretical pathways, including conceptualizing potential parental social supports at multiple levels, attending to the intersection of multiple social locations of parents, and renewing attention to local contextual factors and parenting life stages.
SOURCE: Nomaguchi, K. and Milkie M. “Parenthood and Well-Being: A Decade in Review.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 2020.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia